To help protect Northland’s environment, we monitor a wide range of activities covered by thousands of consents, and respond to incidents across the region.
This is a snapshot of our resource consent monitoring results and incident report statistics and enforcement action for the 2019/20 year.
Council monitors the consents it issues to ensure compliance with consent conditions. We work with consent holders in order to gain positive environmental outcomes, and focus on those activities which pose the greatest environmental risk to the environmental and human health.
What we monitored
We aim to respond to environmental incidents as quickly as possible. Our response is based on the information provided and will depend on the type and severity of the incident.
Our initial goal when attending pollution incidents is to try to stop any environmental damage and achieve a positive environmental outcome. We then proceed to investigate to determine what happened, who is responsible and what action should be taken.
The majority of calls relate to air quality (41%). These included 239 calls about burning and smoke nuisance,45 calls about odour and 40 calls about spraydrift.
Our monitoring officers made 694 site visits to investigate 426 confirmed breaches of consent conditions, regional rules or national regulations.
When there is a clear and confirmed breach of a resource consent, a regional rule or the Resource Management Act 1991, we can take enforcement action against the offenders.
About the different types of enforcement action
Abatement notice – this directs the recipient to take cease/do certain actions in order to prevent or mitigate environmental harm. Breaching an abatement notice is an offence.
Infringement notice – this is a fine (which is set by legislation) and is issued for certain breaches which the Act defines.
Enforcement order – the regional council can make an application to the Environment Court to issue an enforcement order, requiring someone to do something or stop doing something, to resolve an environmental effect and/or comply with regulatory requirements. Breaching an enforcement order is an offence.
Prosecution – this is for offences of a serious nature, which warrant proceedings through the courts.