A Northern Southland farmer had his actions described as “reckless” during a sentencing at the Invercargill District Court this morning.
Adolf Hardegger and Hardegger Trustees Ltd were each sentenced on three charges, with fines of $11,900 on each charge, to a total of $71,400.
Both Mr Hardegger and his company were charged individually with illegal earthworks relating to the Oreti River, in which water from the river was diverted. They were also both charged with illegal earthworks involving the straightening of Starvation Creek and the illegal installation of a culvert in the creek.
During sentencing, Judge Brian Dwyer placed significant weight on the affected area being a sensitive habitat for endangered species such as the black-billed gulls and galaxiids (a freshwater fish species).
The judge also signed an enforcement order, requiring Mr Hardegger to remedy the work.
Winton Stream effluent update
Further test results for the Winton Stream show E.Coli levels have reduced to normal, following last week’s discharge of effluent into a tributary of the stream. Investigations into the cause of the discharge are continuing.