A Kāpiti man is in jail and his partner has been fined more than $100,000 for damage to wetlands at Nikau Valley in Paraparaumu, reports Jeremy Smith.
Julie Crosbie and Adrian Page faced 35 charges each for the offending which spans December 2019 to March 2021.
They pleaded not guilty to 35 charges each which included reclaiming areas of wetland, draining water from wetlands, allowing livestock to damage wetlands, breaching abatement notices and breaching an interim enforcement order relating to a sewage disposal system.
At their sentencing the court heard how the couple- she owns the land and he did the work- were repeatedly told, face to face and by letter- of their obligations. The charges were brought by the Greater Wellington Regional council.
Adrian Page faces three months jail and Crosbie has been fined $118,500. They have also been ordered to remediate the damage.
In making the order Judge Brian Dwyer said the area damaged was limited. But he described Page’s attitude as “aggressively defiant of the council and Court.”
RMA ‘very clear’
GWR Environmental Protection team leader James Snowden says the Resource Management Act is very clear — that the preservation and protection of wetlands is a matter of national importance.
“Where people choose to ignore our advice and damage significant and vulnerable habitats we are left with no choice but to pursue enforcement action.”
He says members of the Nikau Valley community helped council staff in their investigations.
Page has indicated he will seek to appeal the conviction.