Napier sawmill charged over alleged discharge into Ahuriri estuary waterway

A Napier sawmill has been charged with breaching Napier's new storm water Bylaw after it allegedly discharged an unknown substance into a waterway draining to the Ahuriri Estuary.

Napier Pine on Tyne Road in the Pandora industrial area, Napier. Source: Google Streetview

Napier City Council (NCC) said in a release yesterday that the company, which operates an industrial facility in the Pandora industrial area, allegedly allowed the discharge on or around March 19 this year.

A spokesperson said the alleged discharge was discovered in a waterway which drains to the estuary when the Council's Environmental Solutions team were surveying outfall pipes in the area.

NCC would not confirm the substance allegedly discharged, and said doing so could affect the upcoming case.

The council did not name the company in its release, but Napier District Court provided a copy of the charging document to 1 NEWS, confirming that the company involved is Napier Pine Limited.

Napier Pine did not respond to a request for comment.

The company is accused of discharging "a substance that causes, or is likely to cause, a nuisance, directly into the public storm water network", and the maximum penalty under the new bylaw is a fine of up to $20,000.

The first court date is set down for October 21 at Napier District Court.

This is believed to be the first time anyone has been charged under the 2020 bylaw.

The issue of storm water discharge into Pondora Pond and the Ahuriri Estuary have been in the spotlight in recent years, with Hawke's Bay regional councillor Neil Kirton accusing NCC last year of being "derelict in its responsibility" to keep the waterway clean.