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Tuesday 28 June 2022

Silver Fern Farms, Ziwi rack up nearly $470k total in fines

25th February 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Silver Fern Farms and pet food company Ziwi have clocked up fines for pollution charges totalling $467,500.

Silver Fern Farms was fined $337,500 after an ammonia leak at its Hāwera plant in Taranaki on 19 February 2020.

Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), which brought the charges against the meat company, said the leak resulted in unauthorised discharges of ammonia into the air. It also led to contamination of the nearby Tawhiti Stream after a water curtain was deployed to protect staff and the surrounding community.

The contaminated water killed fish along a 13km stretch of the stream, the widest extent of any such incident on record with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of fish and eels were killed, TRC said.

Silver Fern Farms pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the Environment Court at Hāwera to two charges brought by TRC.

The fine is believed to be the largest one on record for an offence of this type and it sent “a very strong message” that the community would not tolerate this type of damage, TRC said.

Pet food firm Ziwi was fined $130,000 in total for odour and wastewater discharges at its Mount Maunganui plant in the Bay of Plenty.

The company was fined $66,000 for discharges of odour and $64,000 for discharges of process wastewater after pleading guilty to two charges brought by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The council said odours generated by Ziwi had led to a significant number of complaints from the local community. From 2008 to 2017 the council received 224 complaints from the public about discharges of odour from the Ziwi site.

People who complained described the odours as “putrid”, “horrible”, “rank and “over-powering”.

The council brought the charges against Ziwi in 2018.



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