Environmental offences can be serious criminal offences under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Individuals can be imprisoned for up to two years and fined up to $200,000. Companies can be fined up to $600,000.
Environment Canterbury has a number of options ranging from a verbal warning, right through to applying to the Environment Court for an enforcement order and/or prosecution.
Pollution related complaints can be reported to the 24-hour Pollution Hotline. If they are deemed significant we will refer the incident our officers to respond in person.
You will be informed of the outcome if you request it and the incident is deemed significant but this may not be immediately as it may take Environment Canterbury a period of time to investigate the complaint.
Infringement notices are suitable for responding quickly to relatively minor offences that do not warrant prosecution.
When an alleged offence is classified as an infringement, it requires the payment of a fine but without the record of a conviction. The fines, which are set by regulation, range from $300 to $1000.
All offenders who receive infringement notices are published on our website for 12 months.
An infringement notice may be issued later where appropriate at the officer's discretion, even if the occupier was not there for the visit or was unco-operative.