The incident was brought to the attention of the Otago Regional Council following complaints from the public. Trustpower has entered a guilty plea to a charge under the Resource Management Act 1991 relating to the incident.
Trustpower’s Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth said the company accepted that the overtopping occurred when works to pipe a section of the race could not cope with a heavy rain event.
“The overtopping happened and we can’t alter that. What we can do, is take full responsibility and take steps to prevent this from happening again.”
“The Waipori Scheme is over 100 years old and the Beaumont Race was originally constructed by gold miners and is located in a very remote location. The key change now is that we have installed an additional hydrological monitoring station and alarms, amongst other things, to provide an early warning system for staff of potential issues with the race integrity.”
“These changes followed an immediate and thorough internal investigation supported by expert advice, so we have every assurance our response has been robust.”
Mr Hawksworth said Trustpower takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and works hard to prevent these sorts of occurrences.
“As our Environmental Policy states – we want to ensure our activities do not lead to environmental pollution in the areas in which we operate and upholding this policy is at the forefront of everything we do”.
Trustpower is a New Zealand based utilities company that provides power, broadband, phone and gas. Trustpower owns and operates 36 stations across 19 schemes, with a strong focus on sustainable generation. For more information on Trustpower, visit https://www.trustpower.co.nz/getting-to-know-us/our-history.