A dairy farming company owned by Fonterra director Colin Armer is to be sentenced in Tauranga District Court today for effluent discharge.
Armer Farms Limited admitted to the Resource Management Act charge of unlawful discharge of dairy farm effluent at a farm in Maketu on May 31.
The incident happened in October 2010 and the charge carries a fine of up to $600,000.
The farm is owned by Colin, who is one of 13 directors of the dairy giant Fonterra.
He says the pollution that triggered the prosecution came from a split pipe and lasted for a maximum of 24 hours.
Colin and his wife Dale, have extensive interests in dairy farms throughout New Zealand and own 60 per cent of Dairy Holdings, which oversees 58 farms and 44,000 cows in the South Island.
Colin is also a director of about 90 farming companies with about 450 staff across the group.
Colin was not on the farm when the offence occurred and says the manager of the Maketu farm had a good record for 12 years before the offence occurred.
It is the first prosecution of any of his companies in 30 years, says Colin.