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Subdivision developers fined $42,000 for contaminating Clutha River

A development company has been fined $42,500 for a discharge generated by earthworks during subdivision development that contaminated the Clutha River for more than 500 metres. 

Northlake Investment Ltd was sentenced today in the Queenstown District Court, following prosecution by in June for the discharge in August 2017.

The discharge resulted in discolouration in the Clutha River for more than 500 metres downstream, said the Otago Regional Council, which brought the prosecution.

The council's chief executive, Sarah Gardner, said today’s sentencing highlighted the importance of improved environmental management during development, and the need for developers and contractors to adopt best practices during times of rapid growth.

Water is the council's "number one priority" and it's "prepared to take serious enforcement actions when our water plan rules are breached", Ms Gardner said.

"We take our responsibilities - and the responsibilities of all Otago in appropriately managing water resources - very seriously.”

Otago Regional Council also prosecuted Civil Construction Ltd for the offence. That company was convicted and fined in January.

Sunrise over the Clutha River Source: istock.com