A farmer in the Waikato has been fined $31,875 for unlawful discharges of animal effluent.
Roger Prout was found to be in breach of effluent regulations during a routine inspection on his Orini property in September 2018.
Inspectors found effluent ponding in such volumes that it posed a risk to groundwater, the Waikato Regional Council said in a statement on Friday.
The fine was imposed in the Hamilton District Court this week by Judge Melanie Dickey.
In passing her sentence, Judge Dickey noted that Prout had been told by the council in 2016 that his effluent system was inadequate but had not taken any substantial steps to improve it.
"In this case the effluent holding facilities were completely inadequate," said Patrick Lynch, Waikato Regional Council compliance manager.
"Even the most conservative calculation would say that at least 26 times as much storage was required on this farm. This means the environment was regularly at risk from unlawful discharges of effluent, as was discovered by our team in 2018.
"This will be very frustrating for the farming and wider community to see after the substantial improvements made on other farms and the increased public interest in protecting and improving water quality in this country," Mr Lynch said.
As well as receiving the fine, Prout was also ordered to improve the effluent system on his farm to meet industry standards and ensure farm effluent could be managed without posing undue risk to the environment.