Farming and the Law

Effluent Discharge Prosecutions under the Resource Management Act

Regional Councils take unlawful effluent discharge, especially when it enters waterways, extremely seriously. Under the Resource Management Act (RMA) any discharge is unlawful if it breaches the permitted activity rule in your region. The severity of the fines imposed has recently increased significantly as the government cracks down on polluters, with the maximum fine available now $600,000. Many farmers in New Zealand have faced prosecution under the RMA, as despite their best intentions things can go wrong and damage is regrettably caused to the environment. 

Having charges filed against either your farming company or you personally can be a daunting and worrying time. It is important to get legal representation from lawyers who have experience in effluent discharge matters who can step you through your rights and your next steps, resolving the matter as quickly and satisfactorily as possible.

Mark Copeland Lawyers in Rotorua have recently been involved in a number of cases defending farmers. In these cases, the clients were able to get their side of the story across in court and mitigate the final fine imposed. There are often several discrete legal issues that come into play when the judge sets the final fine including determining the exact extent of the damage and the responsibility of the farmer, as well as mitigating factors such as previous good character. Mark Copeland Lawyers can assist you in navigating these, allowing you to move on with your business and livelihood.