A Christchurch quarry is being accused of using delaying tactics to avoid cleaning up its operation and of placing the town water supply at risk of contamination.
Winstones, a division of Fletcher Building, was issued an abatement notice by Canterbury Regional Council in August.
The notice said the quarry had failed to stay one metre above the highest known level of the water table and ordered it to fill in areas that had been quarried too far, with clean-fill.
However it has now been placed on hold pending an appeal the company has lodged in the Environment Court which will not be heard until next year.
A resident neighbouring the quarry, Anna Youngman, said Winstones was using the courts to avoid its responsibilities.
"We're just going around in circles, and in the meantime they're going down deeper and they're not filling up what they've got to.
"Their consents don't mean a thing."
Ms Youngman said she suspected the company was buying time ahead of another consent application it had lodged asking for permission to dig deeper than the existing consent allowed for.
Winstones declined to comment but said the abatement notice was placed on hold with the consent of the council.