Canterbury Regional Council officials have for the first time used a cultural impact statement from Ngai Tahu in a court case.
Corporate farmer White Gold was recently fined $90,000 in the Christchurch District Court for "dirty dairying" - discharging about 45,000 litres of diluted effluent in October 2010 from a Springston property onto land, and waterways that feed into Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere).
The penalty levied against the company is in addition to a $20,000 fine and community service sentence for the farm manager involved in the same offences.
The company had a resource consent to discharge effluent only onto a paddock.
Council director of resource management Kim Drummond says that during the court case it put the view of Ngai Tahu forward with a cultural impact statement.
He says this is the first time the council has ever provided a court with a statement from Ngai Tahu.
Mr Drummond says the scale of the discharge meant views from all parties with vested interests in the lake needed to be heard.
He says Ngai Tahu is seen as a guardian of Te Waihora.