Taranaki Regional Council has laid charges against Silver Fern Farms over an ammonia leak from its Hāwera beef processing plant in February.
The council's resource management director Fred McLay will make no comment while charges are before the court, but confirms charges have been laid in the Hāwera District Court.
The ammonia leak into Tawhiti Stream and resulting tuna (eel) deaths were devastating for South Taranaki's Ngāti Ruanui iwi, CEO Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said.
This was especially sad because the stream and the Tāngāhoe River it feeds are usually full of tuna (eels) and had just recovered from a similar industrial accident about 25 years earlier.
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When tuna started dying Ngāti Ruanui put a rāhui on Tawhiti Stream, and South Taranaki District Council put up signs warning against taking food or swimming.
The rāhui will be in place until the stream is repopulated, Ngarewa-Packer said. It could take years to get back to its former state.
At the time Silver Fern Farms said in a statement it was deeply disappointed given its commitment to the environment and the restoration it had done on the stream.
The company has met with Ngāti Ruanui.
"Although the matter is sub judice and we cannot now comment on the incident, our public commitment to working with the community in partnership with Ngāti Ruanui to improve the Tawhiti Stream stands," head of sustainability Justin Courtney said.
The relationship with Silver Fern Farms was one of the good things to come out of the situation, Ngarewa-Packer said.
"They have been completely engaged in the repopulation strategy."