On Nov. 18, 2016 Hawke’s Bay Regional Council laid charges against a party for alleged offences uncovered in the course of its investigation into the contamination of Havelock North drinking water.
The charges were laid after the council investigated the source of the contamination that resulted in more than 5000 people getting sick, and the condition of water supply bores in the area.
The council said its investigations had found evidence of a breach of the maintenance conditions of the party’s resource consent. If a breach was proved, the resource consent no longer permitted the taking of water.
The council has commenced a prosecution against the party, alleging the unlawful taking of water from the aquifer arising from the alleged failure to meet well head maintenance conditions.
Council chief executive Andrew Newman said the drinking water contamination has had a devastating effect on the Havelock North community with wider regional impacts and the council was “very keen to see the cause of the contamination identified and to ensure it does not happen again”.
He said his council had more than 15 people working on its investigations.
These included council scientists, and Environmental Science Research (ESR) with expertise in the environment, land use, water and climate, as well as dye tracing experts.
He said their investigations had included surface and groundwater quality, the bore infrastructure, water pathways in the local environment and livestock in nearby paddocks.