16 Jul 2014

No regrets over cutting stopbank

3:22 pm on 16 July 2014

A farmer who may face prosecution for cutting into a stopbank to release floodwater following last week's storm in Northland says he has no regrets.

Whangarei Council is considering what action it will take against the farmer Evan Smeath for cutting into the bank at Hikurangi Swamp without permission.

Whangerei Mayor Sheryl Mai says the council does not condone his actions.

"If you take into acccount the one cut that Evan made he could be right that the impact is minimal.

But if every farmer cut their stopbanks then that's a cumulative affect and our hydrologists and engineers are saying we know the scheme and we must ask for permission before those banks are cut."

However, Mr Smeath says he's lived and farmed in the Hikurangi Swamp for 50 years and he knew what he was doing.

"We were monitoring and looking at the flows, we've got info, we've got computers, we were looking at the data on inflows, river flows and everything and we knew that when we let our water go it wasn't going to make any detrimental affect to anybody and that's actually being proved now. We've let this water go and the monitors haven't altered one little bit."

Mr Smeath says he's saved local authorities a bundle of money by cutting into the bank and that he has no regrets over having done so.