Mountain of tires accumulates a legal bill of $ 200,000 for taxpayers

A long legal saga over old tires has left the taxpayers of Bay of Plenty to pay a legal bill of $ 200,000.

Christel Yardley / Tips

A long legal saga over old tires has left Bay of Plenty taxpayers paying a legal bill of $ 200,000.

Taxpayers have spent over $ 200,000 in legal fees in the nearly six years it took to fix a 2,000-ton mountain of tires left behind when a recycling business failed.

The father and daughter of former EcoVersion directors Alan and Angela Merrie and Jonathon Spencer were sentenced by Tauranga District Court on June 23 after pleading guilty to violating or authorizing the contravention of a enforcement order under the Resource Management Act.

The Merries were each sentenced to 190 hours of community service, plus court and attorney fees, and were also ordered to pay $ 25,000 each for costs incurred by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Spencer was ordered to pay a fine of $ 29,750, plus court and attorney fees, as well as $ 25,000 for costs incurred by the regional council.

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* Tire recycling company faces charges over abandoned mountain of tires

The regional council of the Bay of Abondance declared Thing, in response to a request under the Local Authority Information and Meetings Act, it incurred $ 203,798.47 in legal fees “to ensure compliance with the RMA on this matter.”

In an affidavit, Alan Merrie told the court that they

Christel Yardley / Tips

In an affidavit, Alan Merrie told the court that they “foolishly put the cart before the horse, starting the process of collecting the tires before they have the money in the bank.”

“This includes any notice of our initial response to storage, before charges are laid, the costs associated with the first prosecution for contravention of a reduction notice and the current case of violation of an enforcement order.” “.

The regional council also said its lead investigator spent 248 hours and 45 minutes dealing with this case, “but I would like to note that this does not include other staff who have contributed to the case, in terms of response. initial and support for subsequent investigations and legal action. ”.

The saga began in 2015 when Hamilton City Council awarded a $ 280,000 takedown contract to EcoVersion Ltd to remove 150,000 tires from the broken Frankton tire pool.

EcoVersion broke its promise to start a tire recycling business in Kawerau and the tires started piling up with no recycling taking place.

In March 2018, EcoVersion was ordered by Judge David Kirkpatrick to remove the tires from Jason Hubbard’s yard in Kawerau.

They were to be legally eliminated by April 30, 2018.

“It did not happen and charges were laid,” said prosecutor Victoria Brewer.

Upon conviction, Brewer said the offense was “more than a technical violation of an enforcement order … [it was] a direction from the court, not an invitation ”.

“This case highlights the difficulty of end-of-life tires for New Zealand, it’s not easy [to dispose of them] and it’s expensive.

The Merries have also sought release without conviction, although this was rejected by Judge Prudence Steven.

“A violation of a court order sentenced for another offense is a serious matter. “

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