Firm fined $32k for sediment discharge into Waikato River

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A company working on the Waikato Expressway has been convicted of discharging a large volume of sediment into the Waikato River in January 2019.

The Mangaonua Stream meeting the Waikato River carrying a huge dump of sediment.

The Mangaonua Stream meeting the Waikato River carrying a huge dump of sediment. Photo: Waikato Regional Council

Hick Bros Infrastructure has been fined $32,500 in the Hamilton District Court.

The company is part of the alliance group that has been formed to co-ordinate and construct the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Waikato Expressway project.

The discharge was the result of a failure of an earth bund built to hold back water.

The failure occurred near Hamilton and initially impacted on the Mangaonua Stream flowing to the Waikato River.

The Waikato Regional Council said the visual impacts on the river were significant.

Judge Brian Dwyer said the company had a good track record, but the breach demonstrated a certain lack of care or poor management practice, which contributed to this event.

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The council’s regional compliance manager Patrick Lynch said the expressway was an absolutely enormous project that had been very well-managed.

”This was a single isolated incident by a reputable company, but it does demonstrate the extremely high level of care that needs to be taken in projects of this scale.”

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