Investigations and enforcement

We apply a range of response and enforcement procedures to environmental incidents to remediate any adverse effects and to educate those responsible. We also aim to deter offenders through prosecution and formal legal action to prevent similar incidents recurring.

If an incident or consent non-compliance involves a potentially serious environmental incident or offence, a Resource Management Officer will make a site visit. Our first priority is the safety of our officers, followed by minimising any adverse effect and then investigating the incident.

The RMA Monitoring and Compliance section can call upon expertise from other Environment Canterbury technical staff (scientists, engineers), city and district council staff and external consultants as the situation demands.

Breaching the requirements of the RMA can amount to serious criminal offending and matters are heard in the District Court. Following amendments to the RMA, a conviction can now attract imprisonment for up to two years and fines of up to $300,000 for an individual or $600,000 for a company.

In keeping with the seriousness of the penalties, the RMA Monitoring and Compliance Section has adopted appropriate investigative practices carried out to police standards, such as scene examination, evidence gathering, record keeping, file management, chain of custody for samples and evidence, and cautioning subjects before interviews for all serious environmental incidents. All activities are undertaken in accordance with Environment Canterbury's Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Guidelines.

Before a final decision on formal enforcement action is made, any recommendation is reviewed for consistency, reasonableness and fairness through an internal enforcement decision panel. An Environment Canterbury lawyer will then review the available evidence and advise whether or not there is a prima facie case. Prosecution cases are reviewed by the Crown lawyers.

If you have breached the conditions of your consent you may receive one of the following:

  • Notice of non-compliance
  • Letter of formal warning
  • Cost recovery
  • Requesting an application for a retrospective resource consent
  • Abatement notice
  • Infringement notice
  • An enforcement order from the Environment Court
  • Alternative Environmental Justice (AEJ)
  • Prosecution.

Formal enforcement decisions are made after assessing the facts of each case under four criteria:

  • Culpability of the alleged offender
  • Degree of the adverse effect on the environment
  • Significance of the incident to the community (public interest)
  • Previous history of non-compliance or offending

Types of enforcement

Formal warning

Written warnings, instructions in compliance monitoring reports, notice of non-compliance and retrospective consents are useful when an offence is minor and the individual or company is a first-time offender.

These inform the offender of the consequences of breaching the RMA and often is enough to deter any repeat offending, eliminating the need for more formal enforcement action.

The majority of incidents and non-compliances are resolved using these enforcement tools.

Abatement notice

An abatement notice is a formal written notice that the RMA specifies can be issued only by a warranted enforcement officer, requiring certain actions to be taken or to cease within a specified time where that enforcement officer believes on reasonable grounds (on the balance of probabilities) that there is or is likely to be a contravention of the RMA and/or an adverse effect on the environment.

Infringement notice

An infringement notice is a written notice of an alleged infringement offence under the RMA, which is issued in accordance with the Summary Proceedings Act.

An infringement notice requires the payment of a fee of an amount fixed by regulations. Payment of the fine does not lead to the recording of a criminal conviction.

Infringement notices are suitable for responding quickly to relatively moderate offences that do not warrant prosecution.

Enforcement order

An enforcement order is an order made by the Environment Court that may require, in the opinion of the Court, certain actions to be taken or ceased, or money to be paid, within a specified time.

An application can be made by any person to the Environment Court to issue an enforcement order and it is that Court which identifies the matters of which must be satisfied before issuing the notice.

Breaching an enforcement order issued by the Court is in itself an offence for which you may be prosecuted.

Interim enforcement order

An interim enforcement order is similar to an enforcement order and is used in circumstances where the need for the order is urgent.

Search warrants

Where Environment Canterbury has knowledge of a serious offence against the act and intends to gather evidence which could result in punitive action, the legislation requires that a search warrant must be obtained.

We can apply to a registrar of the court when we believe, on reasonable grounds, that there is some item at a certain address or in a vehicle or any place, which:

  • In respect of which an offence punishable by imprisonment has been or is suspected of having been committed; and/or
  • Will be evidence of an offence punishable by imprisonment; and/or
  • Is intended to be used for the purposes of committing an offence punishable by imprisonment.
Prosecutions

Environment Canterbury undertakes prosecutions where there has been a significant contravention of the RMA. The fundamental objectives of a prosecution are to punish those involved, to act as a deterrent to other resource users, to protect the community and environment, and to provide justice to the victims of the offending.

There are four essential conditions to be met before starting a prosecution action:

  • That there is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case
  • That it is considered to be in the public interest
  • That the environmental effect of the breach warrants court action
  • The culpability of the offender.

Environment Canterbury also takes into consideration the party’s previous environmental history of compliance.

Alternative Environmental Justice

Environment Canterbury has developed an Alternative Environmental Justice (AEJ) scheme which it applies to those incidents which are considered to be beyond the criteria of an infringement notice but fall short of the threshold for prosecution.

The scheme criteria are considered by officers in relevant situations but can also be applied for by the party being investigated. In effect, the AEJ scheme aims to resolve environmental offending in an alternative forum that supplements the District Court, in a manner that allows the offender to put right the harm caused by their offending. 

All activities are undertaken in accordance with Environment Canterbury's Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines and Guidelines for implementing Alternative Environmental Justice.

Enforcement response

Abatement notices

Dairy
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Limbe Agriculture LimitedCRC17608827/06/2018Cease discharging effluent beyond the property boundaryWest Coast Road, SpringfieldContinuing Abatement Notice
Riverview Dairy Farm LimitedCRC1742128/05/2018To have backflow prevention device testedHakataramea Highway (SH 82), WaimateContinuing Abatement Notice
Riverview Dairy Farm LimitedCRC17421218/05/2018Cease the ponding of effluent from over application Hakataramea Highway (SH 82), WaimateContinuing Abatement Notice
Skyview Dairies LimitedCRC16267118/05/2018Cease the overflowing of effluent pondSection 11 Block VIII Elephant Hill SD Continuing Abatement Notice
Camden Downs LimitedCRC14474418/05/2018To cease the ponding of effluent Section 3, 9 & 11 Block VIII Elephant Hill SD Continuing Abatement Notice
Wallace Group Limited PartnershipCRC1842231/05/2018Cease and continue to cease the discharge of odour which is offensive or objectionable beyond the boundary of the property 133 Leaches Road, HororataContinuing Abatement Notice
Wallace Group Partnership LimitedCRC17663330/04/2018To cease and continuous to cease odour that is offensive and objectionable beyond the property.Aorangi Road, TimaruContinuing Abatement Notice
Sandy Knolls Farm LimitedCRC13589226/02/2018Cease ponding of effluentLot 2 DP 4102, Lot 5 DP 313322 Continuing Abatement Notice
Discharge of contaminants to land where it may enter water
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Hocken, Natasha1/05/2018Cease and continue to cease: depositing a contaminant namely horse effluent onto the banks of and/or into Fraser Stream and the associated discharge of contaminants into water as a result of such deposition.TwizelContinuing Abatement Notice
Davies, Mark27/04/2018Cease and continue to cease the following: the discharge of Hydro-vac waste to ground. AshburtonContinuing Abatement Notice
Marshall, Grant David8/03/2018Cease and continue to cease the following: Allowing the discharge of contaminants, including but not limited to waste oil and other trade waste housed in Intermediate Bulk Containers to enter onto land in circumstances which may result in that contaminant (or any other contaminant emanating as a result of natural processes from that contaminant) entering water.TimaruContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge of contaminants to water
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Monk, Hamish James9/11/2018To stop all unauthorised works in the Kairaki CreekKairaki BeachContinuing Abatement Notice
Riverview Dairy Farm LimitedCRC14367614/05/2018Cease effluent ponding/ overflowing pond. Lot 1 DP 75122 Continuing Abatement Notice
Begg, Louise12/04/2018The Canterbury Regional Council gives notice that you must cease and continue to cease: Depositing domestic rubbish in the Opihi RiverbedTemukaContinuing Abatement Notice
Discharge to air - industrial
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Clarke, Brent5/06/2018Cease and continue to cease the following: Contravention of section 15(1)(c) and (d) (discharge of contaminants into environment from industrial or trade premises) Namely dust from the use of a vacuum machine used to extract peas from a silo that exited the boundaries of a property owned by Mid Canterbury StorageAshburtonContinuing Abatement Notice
Leamington Downs Limited15/01/2018Cease and continue to cease discharge of contaminants to air in form of odour, from any industrial or trade premises.Amberley26/01/2018
Duff, Ian Gordon MacRae15/01/2018Cease and continue to cease discharge of contaminants to air in form of odour, from any industrial or trade premises.Amberley26/01/2018
Discharge to air - rural
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Clemence, David (Mr)4/07/2018cease: outdoor burning of contaminants, and as the property is within a Clean Air Zone, you must cease outdoor burning of any type during the months of May, June, July and August.KaiapoiContinuing Abatement Notice
Gill, James Nevin27/06/2018contaminants, and as the property is within a Clean Air Zone, you must cease outdoor burning of any type during the months of May, June, July and August.RangioraContinuing Abatement Notice
Trott, Alan13/06/2018The Canterbury Regional Council gives notice that you must cease and continue to cease the discharge of contaminants into air from the burning of specified materials in breach of Rule 7.7 of the Canterbury Air Regional PlanBelfast, ChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Prattley, Nathan Philip John (Mr)25/05/2018The notice gives clear direction as to certain actions that must cease, namely outdoor burning of any sort on the property.Tuahiwi, WaimakaririContinuing Abatement Notice
Calder, Marc Damon19/04/2018The discharge of contaminants to air from the outdoor burning of any materials in breach of Rule 7.14 in the Canterbury Air Regional PlanChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Land use
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Leamington Downs Limited15/01/2018Cease and continue to cease, discharge of contaminants arising from intensive poultry farming, into or onto land.Amberley26/01/2018
Duff, Ian Gordon MacRae15/01/2018Cease and continue to cease, discharge of contaminants arising from intensive poultry farming, into or onto land.Amberley26/01/2018
Stock in waterways
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Martin, Neville James 8/11/2018Ceas and continue to cease the disturbance of the bed of Carters Creek, by allowing your cattle to have access to the bed of the waterway.Ashburton30/11/2018
Waghorn, Harold Lester18/05/2018Cease and continue to cease the cease to allow intensively farmed stock access to the bed of Saltwater Creek and waterways at the property outlined in section 2.Rangiora13/05/2018
Hocken, Natasha2/05/2018Remove: The horse effluent deposited on the banks of the Fraser Stream at the locations indicated below, thus preventing the associated discharge of contaminants into water as a result of such deposition.TwizelContinuing Abatement Notice
Murray, Martin Douglas (Mr)1/05/2018Cease and continue to cease: any occurrence of pugging and/or the causing of de-vegetation to the bed and banks of the Maryburn Stream by stock, and the associated discharge of contaminants into water.TekapoContinuing Abatement Notice
Stormwater
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Bathurst Coal LimitedCRC17382329/01/2018Cease and continue to cease the discharge of sediment in a manner that does not comply with the resource consent CRC173823Bush Gully Road, CoalgateContinuing Abatement Notice
Water take - bore
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Canterbury Regional Council CRC14648326/10/2018Cease and continue to cease the taking of water in a manner that contravenes condition 5 of consent CRC146483196-214 Tuam Street, ChristchurchContinuing Abatement Notice
Limbe Agriculture LimitedCRC17608525/06/2018To provide accurate water metering dataWest Coast Road, SpringfieldContinuing Abatement Notice
T M Inch LimitedCRC012039.11/05/2018Comply with consent conditions52 Kippenberger Avenue, RangioraContinuing Abatement Notice
Brown, Darryl Michael (Mr)CRC99161611/05/2018Comply with consent conditionsNo 10 Road, EyretonContinuing Abatement Notice
Gilbert, Hamish George (Mr)CRC040696.127/03/2018Action prohibited: The taking of water from L36/0385 under resource consent CRC990640.2 that does not comply with condition 2 of resource consent CRC990640.2.Feredays Road, SouthbridgeContinuing Abatement Notice
Gilbert, Hamish George (Mr)CRC010062.227/03/2018Cease the abstraction of water from bores L36/0277 and L36/1773 in excess of consented combined rate of 45L/s North Rakaia Road, Leeston3/04/2018
Waitaki Trustees (Golden Acres) LimitedCRC1462212/03/2018Comply with condition 4 re WQ sample requirementsState Highway 8, TwizelContinuing Abatement Notice
McIntyre, Douglas Robert (Mr)CRC1462212/03/2018Comply with condition 4 re WQ sample requirementsState Highway 8, TwizelContinuing Abatement Notice
Southern Pastures (Mead Farm - Terrace View) Limited PartnershipCRC15561120/12/2017Cease taking water in breach of condition 6 restriction regimeRakaia Terrace Road, Te Pirita27/12/2017
Water take - surface
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Mr J C & Mrs L J GreensladeCRC04270326/04/2018Cease taking on partial restrictionSprings Road & Collins Road, LincolnContinuing Abatement Notice
Mead Investments LimitedCRC990851.69/03/2018Cease taking while on full restriction without stored water being orderedNorth Rakaia Road, RakaiaContinuing Abatement Notice
Northbank Irrigation LimitedCRC991035.59/03/2018Cease taking water on full restriction without ordering stored waterMain Rakaia, Selwyn Rakaia & Northbank Roads, RakaiaContinuing Abatement Notice
Mr D L & Mrs S G MortonCRC1697468/02/2018Cease the following: Taking of water for the purposes of irrigation until a working water meter and data logger are installedSouth Eyre Rd, ClarkvilleContinuing Abatement Notice
Works in Waterways
DetailsConsent NumberDate issuedRequirementLocationComply by
Smith, Robert John (Mr)1/08/2018Cease and continue to cease: The excavation and vegetation clearance in or under the bed, and within the riparian margins, of Whitneys Creek, all other flowing bodies of fresh water and all wetland areasGlenavyContinuing Abatement Notice
Smith, Robert John (Mr)1/08/2018Must remove: the material deposited within the riparian margins of Whitneys Creek, all other flowing bodies of fresh water, and all wetland areasGlenavy1/11/2018

Infringement notices

An infringement notice is a written notice of an alleged infringement offence under the RMA, which is issued in accordance with the Summary Proceedings Act.

Infringement notices~~
Name of offenderIncident DateAmountIncidentLocation
Hazeldine Construction Ltd19/11/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely sediment and sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Connectrix (2018) Ltd2/11/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment and sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Miles Construction Ltd29/10/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Select Project Management Ltd25/10/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely concrete residue onto or into landChristchurch
Lanyon & Le Compte Construction Ltd 19/10/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely sediment and concrete waste onto or into landChristchurch
Downer NZ Ltd18/10/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment runoff onto or into land Christchurch
Oldenburger, Ian4/10/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsLoburn
Morgan, Glenn29/09/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsKaiapoi
Aqua Pro Plumbing & Drainage Ltd28/09/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment and sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Virtue Homes Ltd28/09/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment and sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Rong Yin3/09/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely sediment-laden water onto or into landChristchurch
Riverstone Land Holdings Ltd28/08/2018$500.00Vegetation clearence in contravention of Canterbury Land and Water Regional PlanAshburton
Taggart Earthmoving Ltd16/08/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely soil sediment and demolition waste onto or into landChristchurch
Dobbs, Lionel Graham13/08/2018$750.00Contravenion of an abatement notice - burning contaminantsOrari
Lionel Dobbs13/08/2018$300.00Burning of contaminantsOrari
PIC NZ Limited7/08/2018$300.00Offensive or objectionable odour beyond boundaryBurnham
PIC NZ Limited7/08/2018$750.00Contravention of abatement notice; discharge of odour beyond boundaryBurnham
Mt Hutt Diaries Ltd1/08/2018$300.00Earthworks within 5m of the bed of the river Rakaia
Kevin Moginie26/07/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminants, namely effluent onto or into landGeraldine
Barber, Grant19/07/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsWaimate
Clemence, David5/07/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants from an industrial or trade premises into air.Kaiapoi
Lissington, Jamie Charles3/07/2018-05/07/2018$300.00Burning of vegetation on an outdoor fire in breach of rule 7.14 of the Canterbury Air Regional Plan.Rotherham
Glasgarton Farm Ltd3/07/2018-05/07/2018$300.00Burning of vegetation on an outdoor fire in breach of rule 7.14 of the Canterbury Air Regional Plan.Rotherham
Dobbs, Lionel Graham3/07/2018$300.00Outdoor burn on a property of less than 2 hectaresChristchurch
Dobbs, Lionel Graham3/07/2018$750.00Contravention of an abatement notice - discharged of contaminant to air from on outdoor burn.Christchurch
Wholesale Seeds Ltd2/07/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants from an industrial or trade premises into air.Tinwald
Blakely Construction Ltd13/06/2018$1,000.00Discharge of sediment laden water onto land from an industrial/trade premises in breach of conditions 11 and 23 of Resource Consent number CRC151343.Lincoln
The Fletcher Construction Company (Trading as Brian Perry Civil)13/06/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment-laden stormwater to waterChristchurch
Lincoln University Property Joint Venture Ltd13/06/2018$1,000.00Discharge of sediment laden water onto land from an industrial or trade premises, in breach of conditions 11 and 23 of Resource Consent number CRC151343.Lincoln
Dobbs, Lionel Graham29/05/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsOrari
Luscombe, Garth29/05/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsGeraldine
Van der Veen, George23/05/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsChristchurch
Jansen, Gaby16/05/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsAshburton
Cameron, William Gordon14/05/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsChristchurch
PIC New Zealand Ltd1/05/2018$750.00Contravention of abatement notice; discharge of odour beyond boundaryBurnham
PIC New Zealand Ltd1/05/2018$300.00Offensive or objectionable odour beyond boundaryBurnham
Campbell, Dean Michael 20/04/2018$750.00Ponding of effluent, in breach of condition 8 of Resource Consent CRC100164.Orari
Page, Neville John20/04/2018$750.00Ponding of dairy effluent onto land, in breach of condition 8 of Resource Consent CRC100164.Orari
McLenaghan Contracting Ltd12/04/2018$300.00Outdoor burning of vegetationWest Melton
Williams, Ryan7/04/2018 or 14/04/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsLoburn
Clarke, Brent6/04/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants to airAshburton
Leith, Roydon6/04/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants to airAshburton
Kircher, Stephen6/04/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants to airAshburton
Hill, Philip6/04/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants to airAshburton
Rooney Holdings Ltd 21/03/2018$750.00Discharge of contaminant onto landWashdyke
Wallace Canterbury Ltd7/03/2018$1,000.00Offensive or objectionable odour beyond boundary, from industrial/trade premises, in breach ofResource Consent Darfield
Wallace Canterbury Ltd7/03/2018$750.00Contravention of abatement notice; discharge of odour beyond boundaryDarfield
Marshall, Grant David6/03/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants, namely waste materials, from industrial or trade premises onto and into landTimaru
Waste Away South Ltd6/03/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants, namely waste materials, from industrial or trade premises onto and into landTimaru
Trott, Alan Douglas5/03/2018$300.00Burning contaminantsWest Melton
Limbe Agriculture Limited4/03/2018$1,000.00Discharge of effluent, by means of a travelling irrigator onto formed public road Springfield
Weka Irrigators Ltd7/02/2018$500.00Use of water for irrigation purposes, that does not comply with condition 8c of Resource Consent CRC040880.Waipara
Bethell, Hugh David7/02/2018$500.00Use of water for irrigation purposes, in a manner that does not comply with condition 8c of Resource Consent CRC040880.Waipara
Ravensdown Ltd1/02/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants, onto land and subsequently into storm water systemChristchurch
Hay, Peter1/02/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminants, onto land and subsequently into storm water systemChristchurch
Parry, Derrick Charles30/01/2018$500.00Stock disturbance of Old Bed Eyre RiverMandeville North Eyreton
Lake Coleridge Station26/01/2018$500.00Stock in waterwayLake Coleridge
Harnak Bath24/01/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminant storm water from industrial or trade premisesChristchurch
Moore, Andrew James24/01/2018$1,000.00Discharge of contaminant storm water from industrial or trade premisesChristchurch
New Zealand Transport Authority18/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment to water, in breach of condition 5 of Resource Consent CRC150791.Christchurch
Fulton Hogan18/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment to water, in breach of condition 5 of Resource Consent CRC150791.Christchurch
Construction Contracting NZ Ltd18/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment-laden water to landChristchurch
PIC New Zealand Ltd18/01/2018$750.00Contravention of abatement notice; discharge of odour beyond boundaryBurnham
PIC New Zealand Ltd18/01/2018$300.00Offensive or objectionable odour beyond boundaryBurnham
Central Plains Water Trust 12/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment to waterHororata
Downer New Zealand Ltd 12/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment to water Hororata
Ball, Hayden Nicholas12/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment-laden water onto landChristchurch
Freeman, Marcus Robert12/01/2018$750.00Discharge of sediment-laden water onto landChristchurch
Dalley, Michael John12/01/2018$750.00Ponding of effluent solids.Leeston
Gilbert, Hamish George9/01/2018$500.00Ground water take in a manner that does not comply with condition 2 of Resource Consents CRC010062.2 and CRC040696.1. Hororata
Northbank Irrigation Ltd9/01/2018$500.00Surface water take from Rakaia River when full restriction in place, in breach of resource consent CRC991035.5Rakaia
Mead Investments Ltd9/01/2018$500.00Surface water take from Rakaia River when full restriction in place, in breach of resource consent CRC990851.6Rakaia
Duff, Ian Gordon MacRae20/12/2017$500.00Discharge of contaminant to land that may enter waterAmberley
Central Plains Water Trust 18/12/2017$500.00Surface water take from the Waimakariri River, under consents CRC136234 and CRC175118 while restriction in placeWaimakariri
South Pacific Meats Limited12/12/2017$1,000.00Burning contaminants Rolleston