The two companies charged in relation to works carried out on the Waihi Dam, and the subsequent discharge of silt into the Waihi and Waiau Rivers, can now be named.

They are Eastland Networks Ltd and Abyss Ltd.

The dam, owned by Eastland Group, began discharging silt into Wairoa waterways in December after a sluice gate was damaged in a storm. It was repaired only in March.

The companies have been charged with four offences arising out of contamination of the Waihi River between December last year and February this year.


Each party will face charges under the Resource Management Act for disturbance of a bed of a lake or river and discharge of contaminants into water.

The matter was to be heard in the Wairoa District Court tomorrow but has been adjourned without plea until August 4 in the same court.

Both defendants will be given the opportunity to enter a plea on that date, when a date for a defended hearing or sentencing will also be assigned.

Both defendants have indicated they will not be seeking name suppression, so the Hawke's Bay Regional Council has now named the companies.

Quite separate from the prosecution, the regional council is continuing to work with the Eastland Group to refine and adapt its current resource consent and the operation of the Waihi Dam itself to ensure it meets current best practice.