The Otago Fish & Game Council has vowed to get tough on developers who breach consents and cause runoff into waterways, announcing it will consider prosecuting developers if other authorities will not.
The move has been prompted by repeated spills of sediment overflow into Bullock Creek from Wanaka's Alpha Series subdivision, and other developments will now also be watched by Fish & Game.
Councillors at last week's meeting in Cromwell said they had ''had enough'' of both the spills and a lack of prosecutions from the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Otago Regional Council (ORC) for the incidents.
There had been about six spills from the Alpha Series subdivision into Bullock Creek but no prosecutions had been made, councillor Ray Grubb said.
''If they're [QLDC and ORC] not going to prosecute then we may have to do it ourselves ... We're talking about prevention rather than cure, and that requires a more proactive stance.''
The Alpha Series subdivision has been developed by Willowridge Developments, of which the directors are Allan and Elizabeth Dippie.
Mr Dippie did not respond to a request for comment.
Bullock Creek acts as a nursery for brown and rainbow trout, and the Bullock Creek Hatchery Spring walkway, developed by the Wanaka Residents' Association, was opened in September. The opening was delayed by several months because of the Alpha Series stormwater runoff issues.
Mr Grubb said the sediment from the Alpha St subdivision had covered the spawning grounds in Bullock Creek and would ''take some time to flush out''.
Fish & Game councillors discussed whether the blame for the runoff lay with the QLDC, which issued the consent for Alpha Series, or the developer, for any breaches of consent.
They were also worried about the possibility of other developments causing runoff issues.
When asked by the Otago Daily Times about the Alpha St spills and lack of prosecutions, ORC director of environmental monitoring and operations Scott MacLean responded with a statement which said: ''There is a current abatement notice in place and legal proceedings relating to another development in the Queenstown Lakes district have been authorised''.
When asked to clarify to whom the abatement notice and legal proceedings related, the ORC did not provide any additional response.
Asked about the Alpha Series subdivision issues, a QLDC spokesman said ''We are working with the Meadowstone Alpha Series developers to continually update and improve their site management controls. QLDC has also developed sediment control guidelines for building sites and has been visiting contractors on site to discuss them. These visits will initially be limited to the Wanaka subdivision sites (Northlake, Hikuwai, Meadowstone) but will be rolled out district-wide''.