Saturday, July 20, 2024

Hefty fine for illegal Te Papapa earthworks

A building company and its director have been found guilty on seven charges of breaching the Resource Management Act 1991.

The company, A H Construction Services Limited (AHCSL) and its director, Ajay Narayan, were recently fined a total of $87,500 in the Auckland District Court for their role carrying in out large scale earthworks on contaminated land.

The offending took place at 69 Captain Springs Road, Te Papapa between April 2021, and April 2022 on reclaimed land on the northern side of the Mangere inlet, formerly the Pikes Point landfill.

Charges have also been laid against three other defendants: Frankel Consultants Limited, owner of the site; Southpark Corporation Limited, which is alleged to have been involved in the management of the site; and David John Sax the sole director of Southpark Corporation Limited and a co-director of Frankel Holdings Limited, which owns Frankel Consultants Limited.

In his written decision, Chief Environment Court Judge David Kirkpatrick said while the co-defendants were not before the court, he was able to proceed with sentencing based on the agreed summary of facts.

The Judge noted the defendants were previously involved in similar offending on the same site, and must have known or been aware of the nature and significance of the offending their work was causing.

He found the culpability of the defendants to be at a high level of carelessness.

“These defendants are engaged in earth-moving activities as part of their business and the experience they gain through that should inform their decision,” he said.

“Their prior experience with their co-defendants should have put them on enquiry and caused them to double check all necessary resource consents had been obtained and all required infrastructure works had been put in place.”

Counsel for the Crown said the defendants were careless, despite having lengthy earthworks contracting experience and were both involved in earthworks on the site in 2007 and 2008 when the company was prosecuted for similar offending.

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