Farm manure charges stick

Dairy moguls Allan and Frank Crafar have again been found guilty of dirty dairying.

The brothers have been convicted of a series of offences relating to a poorly maintained farm effluent system. In a 70-page decision by District Court Judge LJ Newhook, released yesterday to the Waikato Times, the Reporoa-based brothers and their firm Hillside Farms Ltd were convicted on 34 of 40 charges resulting from the "systemic failure" of an effluent system on a Collins Rd farm southwest of Hamilton, between October 2007 and April 2008.

It is the latest in a series of court cases brought against the duo and Allan's wife, Elizabeth, who are among the biggest corporate dairy farmers in the country and own numerous dairy farms in the central North Island.

Environment Waikato alleged the farm, operated by the family's firm in conjunction with sharemilker Ivan Lammas, had dairy effluent seeping from ponds, discharges from feed pads on to yards and land, discharges from a broken irrigator hose, overflows from sumps, over-irrigation of paddocks and after being urged to rectify effluent issues on the property breaching an abatement notice.

Judge Newhook noted that the defendants' attempts to blame Mr Lammas "do not afford a successful defence", and the Crafars had "the ultimate duty to manage and control the situation on the farm".

Allan Crafar told the Times he had not seen the judgment and had no comment to make on it.

Waikato Times