15 Sep 2010

Crafars lose appeals over effluent case

6:03 am on 15 September 2010

The High Court at Hamilton has dismissed appeals by the Crafar family against convictions and fines imposed on them for breaching effluent discharge conditions on one of their Waikato farms, now in receivership.

A Crafar company, Hillside Ltd, and its directors Allan and Frank Crafar were fined more than $29,000 each on 10 charges. Allan's wife Elizabeth, another director, was fined $1500 on four charges.

The case relates to effluent on a farm southwest of Hamilton in 2007 - 2008 and was one of a series of prosecutions brought against Crafar dairy farming operations by Waikato Regional Council over several years.

In their appeal, the Crafars had argued that they should not have been found guilty by the district court in their personal capacity or held liable for the actions of the sharemilker on the farm. They also argued the fines imposed on Allan and Frank Crafar were excessive.

However, Justice Pamela Andrews dismissed all of the appeals and said the fines were at the lower end of the scale for the offending involved.