19 Nov 2008

$67,000 fine for polluting Northland stream

5:00 pm on 19 November 2008

A dairy farmer and contractor have been fined $67,000 for polluting a Kaipara stream in Northland.

Michael Griffiths, of Kaipara, admitted two incidents of illegally discharging effluent in August last year, making water in the stream undrinkable by stock for at least a week.

Mr Griffiths and his company, Prendre Farms, was fined a total of $65,000 for the offending.

Contractor Gregory Dassler, who was working on the effluent ponds, was fined $1500 and court costs.

Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook said there had been a history of problems with effluent at the Griffiths' farm, which the farmer had failed to deal with for more than six years.

Judge Newhook ordered 90% of the fines to be paid to Northland Regional Council, which spent $23,000 bringing the prosecutions.