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Infringement/abatement notices

For example, for a household person or a farmer a water discharge offence may result in a fine of $750 and for a discharge from an industry/trade premise it is $1000. For an air discharge (e.g. smoke) offence by a farmer or a household person it is $300 and from an industrial site it is $1000.

Infringement notice fines can be paid before the deadline specified (similar to speeding tickets), or an explanation can be offered to the council or challenged in the District Court. If the challenge is successful infringement fine will be withdrawn. If it is not successful, the Judge may either uphold the original fine or decide on a new fine (usually higher) if he/she thinks the infringement fine was not appropriate to the scale of the offence.

Unlike speeding tickets, the decision of issuing an infringement may be delegated to a small senior staff team or a senior staff member at the council.

Abatement notices

For some ongoing offences such as non-compliance with a consent or an unauthorised activity, an abatement notice can be served by the enforcement officer under the RMA to cease an activity or require some environmental remediation work. There is a specified timeframe within which the required action has to be completed. Failure may result in an infringement notice ($750) or a prosecution or an enforcement order.