A mid-Canterbury dairy farmer has been fined $7500 for breaching irrigation consents.
Simon Roy, of Mayfield, admitted operating a centre pivot irrigator in a restricted red zone, where water use is fully allocated.
He told regional council officers he had been testing the equipment, but it had been going for seven days.
The judge said illegal taking of water was a serious offence.
However, he noted that the farmer had paid the council's investigation costs and contributed to the cost of an advertising campaign discouraging people from irrigating without a resource consent.