Guilty plea after environment regulations breached

A farmer has pleaded guilty to two charges from Environment Canterbury for breaching the Resource Management Act.

Lawton Giltrap farms and operates a vehicle-wrecking yard on his Curries Rd, Springston South, property.

He appeared in the Christchurch District Court where he pleaded guilty to two charges relating to an incident in November 2021.

An ECan spokesperson said the first charge was for using land in a manner that contravened the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.

Giltrap had allowed stock unrestricted access to the bed and banks of a river within the Selwyn Te Waihora sub region and any associated discharge that was not at a permanent stock crossing point, resulting in pugging. devegetation and exposed bare earth in the bed, including the banks of the river.

The second charge was for permitting the discharge of dairy effluent from a cow onto land which may have resulted in that contaminant entering the water.

A third charge, withdrawn by ECan, was for grazing and raising cattle on a property that was over 10ha in the Selwyn Te Waihora sub region phosphorus sediment risk area without a farming land use consent.

“Mr Giltrap has applied for a farming land use consent,” the spokesperson said.

Giltrap is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12 in the district court.

The Selwyn District Council is also taking action against Giltrap over a separate matter.

Selwyn Times understands it relates to berms outside his property being ploughed and the operation of a car wrecking business on rural land.

In January, district council head of regulatory Susan Atherton said an abatement notice to address non-compliance with the District Plan had been issued.

Atherton would not say what the non-compliance related to. 

“The investigation is ongoing.” 

She said the abatement notice was issued in April last year and has a compliance date of March 31 this year.

When Selwyn Times phoned Giltrap for comment, he hung up.

Selwyn Times understands blocked drains led to flooding on other properties and waterways being contaminated.

ECan is also investigating “an incident” in July last year, but would not say what it was. 

The investigation has not yet led to a prosecution, the spokesperson said.

In October ECan also visited the property after dead cattle were buried in an incorrect location.

“Our officers provided advice to the landowner on how to fix the issue,” the ECan spokesperson said.

“We received confirmation that remediation had been completed on 6 November 2023. 

“No further enforcement action on this matter was deemed necessary.”