6 Nov 2014

$300,000 fine for Raetihi oil spill

5:56 pm on 6 November 2014

A $300,000 fine has been imposed over an oil spillage that shut off water to the town of Raetihi for several weeks last year.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd has appeared in the Ohakune District Court and was convicted and sentenced on four charges brought by WorkSafe New Zealand and the Horizons Regional Council, which covers the Manawatu-Wanganui area.

The company was also ordered to pay solicitors fees and court costs.

In October last year, 19,000 litres of diesel leaked leaked into the Makotuku Stream in the Tongariro National Park from a tank owned by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.

Representatives from Ngati Rangi and Uenuku read victim impact statements at the hearing, which was before Environment Court judge Brian Dwyer.

Horizons Regional Council group manager for strategy and regulation Nic Peet said the spill was costly to clean up and it could have been avoided.

"Once you've dealt with the maintenance, which is there to prevent a spill, it's really then having good mitigation measures in place, should an accident occur," he said.

"So having really good spill response plans - and those were lacking in this situation as well."

Water was shut off to the central North Island town of Raetihi.

Water was shut off to the central North Island town of Raetihi. Photo: PHOTO NZ

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