A regional council is taking its neighbouring territory authority to court over accidentally letting poo run into a stream and the new mayor is in a stink about it.

Waikato Regional Council alleges Matamata-Piako District Council breached the Resource Management Act by allowing an unauthorised discharge of wastewater into the environment at Morrinsville in December 2018.

But new Matamata Piako mayor Ash Tanner does not believe the regional council acted in accordance with the Waikato Triennial Agreement which requires the Waikato councils to work collaboratively and treat each other fairly, so won't sign it.

"I've said to their face, I don't believe they were following those principles when [they] put us in prosecution, so that's what I've got an issue with them about. I don't have any issue with any of the other councils, I just have an issue with them over how we were treated in that instance."


Last week the agreement was given the go-ahead by the rest of the council - it has agreed to review the performance and application in six months, the council's minutes from the February 12 meeting show.

While he was unable to comment while the matter was before the courts, he said it resulted in the ratepayers prosecuting the same ratepayers.

Matamata-Piako District Court is due to be sentenced at Hamilton District Court tomorrow.

The Herald understands the leak happened just after Matamata-Piako District Council staff broke for Christmas 2018. The pipe broke when strong winds blew over a large tree and broke a sewage pipe and some wastewater ran into a stream some distance away.

In November 2019, Hamilton City Council was convicted and fined $54,000 for a discharge of untreated wastewater into the Waikato River from its central city wastewater pumping station on Anzac Parade.

The discharge occurred over a 19-hour period in February 2018 and comprised an estimated 1.7 million litres of wastewater, containing human sewage, being piped directly into the river.

Meanwhile the Waikato Regional Council decided against prosecuting Taupō District Council after 800,000 litres of wastewater including raw sewage poured into the lake.

Following a five-month investigation, the Waikato Regional Council found it was an accident beyond anyone's control.


A burst underground water main caused a footpath to collapse on to a sewage pipe, resulting in it breaking and discharging wastewater to the lake.

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