Snapshot of compliance and incidents

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 2018/19 year.

Compliance monitoring

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

Graphic displaying: What we monitored 3561 consents, 2704 fully compliant (76%), 665 non-compliance (19%), 192 significant non-compliance (5%).

Dairy farms

Graphic displaying: 855 dairy farms, 525 fully compliant (61%), 188 non-compliance (22%), 142 significant non-compliance (17%).


Graphic displaying: 413 forestry activities notified to council, 118 site visits to check compliance, 118 site visits made to check compliance with the NES-PF, 10 instances of non-compliance found.

Find out more about farm dairy effluent compliance results

Incident response

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.

Graphic displaying: 1026 incidents reported to our 24/7 Environmental Hotline - Air quality 466, Coastal 93, Land use 127, Waste management, 49, Water quality 282, Water quantity 9, TOTAL = 1026.

The majority of calls relate to air quality (45%). These are made up of 297 calls about burning and smoke nuisance and 169 other air quality related incidents.

Our monitoring officers made 694 site visits to investigate 495 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.

Graphic displaying: enforcement action taken 187 infringement notices, 271 abatement notices, 1 enforcement order applied for, 3 prosecutions initiated.

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.