Rangitīkei business owner and new Horizons councillor John Turkington begins his term with charges laid against him by that very same council.

Two of the charges allege breaches of the Resource Management Act by Turkington personally, and the other four allege breaches by his business.

Turkington was the top-polling Horizons candidate for the Rangitīkei-Manawatū ward in the October local body elections. His land-use and forestry management company is a major player in the lower North Island.

An environment committee report from Horizons Regional Council lists abatement notices issued to his John Turkington Ltd (JTL) business in May and June this year. The business was asked to stabilise forestry earthworks.


In September he said remedial work had been undertaken, and he expected a successful outcome.

However, two of the six charges he faces are for failing to comply with abatement notices. Two others are for earthworks that allegedly contravene the act, and the final two are for the discharge of sediment that could possibly enter water.

The charges, to be heard in Whanganui District Court, all relate to a property at 1005 Rangitatau East Rd.

His next appearance is for a case review on January 28.

On November 7, Turkington issued a statement to tell regional voters about the charges, saying he did so in the interest of full transparency and as a matter of personal integrity. He said he prided himself on the integrity with which he conducted his business, personal and community affairs.

Neither he nor spokespeople for his business could make further comment because the matter was before the court.

Horizons strategy and regulation manager Nic Peet would not comment on the nature or extent of the charges. He said decisions about whether to prosecute were made in the same way, whether a councillor was involved or not.

"The delegations lie with officers and follow an established process."