A Christchurch man has been fined $10,000 for illegally taking groundwater to irrigate potato and onion crops.
Ivan Court was fined after admitting illegally irrigating crops at a farm in Ryans Rd, Yaldhurst, for five years.
Court's company, Birchbrook Ltd, of which he is a director and shareholder, was also fined $10,000.
Investigations by Environment Canterbury (ECan) estimated 104,000 cubic metres of water had been taken since December 2005 without resource consent.
Judge Brian Dwyer said the defendant had pleaded guilty and had expressed remorse. However, he considered Court was not so much remorseful as embarrassed and frustrated by the legal process.
Court considered the $40,000 to $50,000 cost for getting tests associated with a water-take consent was too high.
In his sentencing notes, Judge Dwyer said the offending was "moderately serious".