9 Apr 2014

Farmer fined $45,000 for taking water from stream

10:16 am on 9 April 2014

A farmer has been fined for illegally taking water from a stream on his Reporoa property over a period of three years, including last year's drought.

William Coates, who lives in Auckland, pleaded guilty in Auckland District Court to four charges brought under the Resource Management Act and was fined $45,000.

Waikato Regional Council took the prosecution after complaints that the farm near Rotorua was being irrigated during the drought and after finding 20 hectares of green pasture while surrounding land was brown and barren.

The council said a stream on the farm was dammed, which allowed the use of large volumes of unallocated water in a substantial irrigation system.