Non-compliant wineries warned

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:54 14/02/2014

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Wineries are not putting enough resources into managing their wastewater, council environment committee chairman Peter Jerram says.

Mr Jerram said yesterday that the Marlborough District Council wanted to send a clear message that the council expected more to be done to ensure wineries met their resource consent conditions.

A report to yesterday's environment committee meeting said only 2 wineries were fully compliant with their resource consent conditions. Another 10 had only minor breaches, and 25 were non-compliant.

Non-compliant wineries were spread across Marlborough.

Council staffer Jane Robertson said there was an increase in the amount of fruit processed in the vintage, but no adverse environmental impacts were seen.

There had been meetings with wineries to make sure they were aware of the council's expectations for this year's vintage, she said.

Councillor Geoff Evans said the decline in compliance was a concern, as did councillor Jamie Arbuckle, who said it might be time to consider enforcement action.

Ms Robertson said the Sustainable Wine (SWINZ) programme run by New Zealand Winegrowers consulted the council about compliance, and if a winery was not meeting requirements, it faced yearly re-auditing.

"There is a consequence for not complying with council resource consents."

Mr Jerram said the the wine industry had very few adverse environmental effects.

However, winery wastewater did need cleaning up.

"They need to put more resources into making sure their waste is dealt with so they have no environmental effects," he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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