Wednesday, December 6, 2023

$26k fines for illegal Hawke’s Bay burns

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has successfully prosecuted a company and an individual for separate illegal burning incidents in the region.

Regional Council Policy & Regulation Group Manager, Katrina Brunton said the prosecutions send a strong message about the Regional Council’s stance on illegal burning.

“Our community shouldn’t be affected by illegal burning, and we are not tolerating it,” she said.

“We’re disappointed that we are still having to prosecute for illegal burning. The rules are very clear, and we’re reminding people to follow them all year round.”

Hawke’s Bay Eggs, which operates on a rural property in Longlands Hastings, pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to discharging a contaminant (smoke) on the property in June 2019. The company was fined $12,800.

The fire included prohibited items such as plastic, a motor mower, spouting, a mattress, whiteware, a car seat, and engine oil.

The fire at the Pakowhai property.

Judge Steven said it must have been apparent that the pile of rubbish contained items that were in the prohibited list, and found this to be highly reckless behaviour.

James McLroy, who lives at a property on Pakowhai Rd, also pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to discharging a contaminant (smoke) on the Hastings property. Mr McLroy was fined $13,200. Burning had been occurring at the property since 2004.

Judge Steven found culpability to a high degree of willful blindness or carelessness on his part.

If any member of the public has information regarding unauthorised discharges to land, air or water they should contact the Council’s 24/7 Pollution Hotline on 0800 108 838.

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