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The amount of monitoring has been compared unfavourably with what other regional councils in New Zealand have achieved, and regulatory general manager Richard Saunders said the council had fallen behind schedule.
"We are significantly behind in our compliance monitoring programme," he said.
"We haven’t got the number of visits and audits done over the last few years that had been scheduled to be completed."
An independent analysis of the regional sector’s compliance monitoring and enforcement for 2018-19 was presented to regional councillors at a regulatory committee meeting last week.
The report, by the Catalyst Group, highlighted that Otago had 1161 consents that required monitoring but the council checked on just 607, or 52.3%.
That was the lowest rate of any regional council in New Zealand, although the Gisborne District Council unitary authority’s statistics were unknown.
The Otago Regional Council’s monitoring rate was also down on the 66% it achieved in 2017-18.
Mr Saunders said some compliance staff had to get involved with pollution response and this contributed to resourcing and efficiency issues.
He said the council also needed to get ready for an increased monitoring workload expected to occur when Plan Change 8 comes into effect.
That water plan is to be considered by the Environment Court at a date yet to be determined.
The Catalyst Group report listed each council’s enforcement actions for 2018-19.
Five councils concluded no prosecutions and the same number had none in progress.
The Otago Regional Council concluded four prosecutions and had two more in progress.
Four corporate entities in Otago were convicted and their fines totalled $87,975. One prosecution resulted in a restorative justice process.
The council issued five warnings, 14 abatement notices, 36 infringement fines and one enforcement order.
It responded to all of its 2056 reported incidents.
Environment Southland was one council that took a little more enforcement action.
It concluded six prosecutions and had five more in progress.
Convictions were entered for five individuals and four corporate entities.
Corporate fines as a result of Resource Management Act prosecutions totalled $101,775 and individual fines added up to $59,550.
Environment Southland issued 31 warnings, 29 abatement notices and 32 infringement fines.
The Southland council responded to 86.1% of its 813 reported incidents.
The Otago and Gisborne councils were the only ones that did not have enforcement policies.
The Otago Regional Council did not record the number of complaints or incidents that staff attended physically.