The directors of a farm near Waverley have been fined $54,000 after dairy effluent flowed over a bank and affected a stream for 2.2km.

Kevin and Diane Goble pleaded guilty to two charges under the Resource Management Act in the Environment Court at New Plymouth on July 10. They are directors of Block 8 Farm, in Block Eight Rd, near Waitotara.

The Chronicle has attempted to contact them for comment.

The charges were brought by Taranaki Regional Council. Its officers inspect farm effluent treatment systems regularly.


They found the property's system did not comply with its consent conditions. Dairy effluent from the second pond was flowing 40m down a steep bank into a tributary of the Moumahaki Stream, council resource management director Fred McLay said.

"The discharge was dark coloured and odorous. The unnamed tributary was observed to be significantly affected along the entire 2.2km length."

Consent holders have a duty to check and maintain their effluent treatment systems regularly, to protect valuable freshwater, McLay said.

Council officers check the systems once a year, and more often if necessary, and will take enforcement action.

"It's disappointing that a small minority of farmers are still not operating to the required standards that the overwhelming majority of farms achieve."

A second Taranaki dairy farm also pleaded guilty on July 10 and was fined. It was in Midhirst, and was fined $45,000.