Breach of RMA - Sentencing Decisions
Gisborne District Council brought prosecutions for breach of the Resource Management Act (RMA) following the investigation of compliance issues at a number of forests after the June 2018 rain events.
In the first half of June 2018, the Gisborne region experienced a significant storm. Heavy rain over a number of days upheaved large amounts of logging debris and carried it onto roads and landings. Forestry waste flowed onto and into neighbouring properties, water bodies, and coastal areas across the region. The environmental impact was significant.
Those prosecutions and judgements are:
Juken New Zealand Limited - hearing 11 November 2019
Appeared for sentence on one charge for breach of s15(1)(b) RMA by discharging a contaminant (slash logging debris, waste logging material and sediment) onto land between 3 - 12 June 2018 in circumstances where it may enter water. In this case, the contaminant did enter water, namely various tributaries of the Mangapoike River.
Aratu Forests Limited - hearing 17 February 2020
Appeared for sentencing on 2 charges for breach of s15(1)(b) RMA. One charge relates to Wakaroa Forest and one charge to Te Marunga Forest. That between 1 June 2017 and 3 July 2018 the defendant discharged a contaminant (slash logging debris, waste logging material and/or sediment) onto land in circumstances where it may enter water.
PF Olsen Limited - hearing 14 September 2020
Appeared for sentence on one charge of breach of s15(1)(b) RMA by discharging a contaminant namely slash, logging debris, waste logging material and sediment (forestry waste) onto land in circumstances where it may enter water in June 2018.
DNS Forest Products (2009) Limited - hearing 16 September 2020
DNS pleaded guilty to a charge under s338(1)(a) of the RMA of contravening or permitting the contravention of s15(1)(b) of that Act. The contravention involved the discharge of contaminants - slash, logging debris, waste logging material, and forestry waste - onto land in circumstances where it then entered water.
Fined $124,700 and reparation of $6,500. DNS now appeals that decision
Ernslaw One and Timbergrow NZ are still before the courts.