Destroy, Damage or in Any Way Interfere With Any Works of a Water Corporation
Elements of the offenceAs this is a criminal offence, the burden is on the Prosecution to prove the following offences beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That an accused destroyed, damaged, removed, altered or in any way interfered, with any works or other property, whether real or personal property; and
- The property belongs to, or is under the control and management of, a water corporation authority.
Examples of Destroy, Damage or in Any Way Interfere with Any Works of a Water Corporation
- Damaging a water pipe
- Interfering with a fire hydrant
- Deliberately damaging a fire hydrant
LegislationThe legislation for this offence is section 288(1) of the Water Act 1989.
- Reasonable mistake of belief
- Lack of intent
- Sudden or extraordinary emergency
- Factual dispute
Questions in cases like this
- Did you have permission to interfere with the hydrant?
- Was it in fact you who damaged the water pipe?
- Is the property damaged?
Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty a Court can impose for the offence of Destroy, Damage or in Any Way Interfere with Any Works of a Water Corporation (s288(1) of the Water Act 1989) is a fine of 60 penalty units (around $9,600) or six months imprisonment.
Subsequent offending of this nature can attract a fine of 120 penalty units ($19,300) or 12 months imprisonment.
If a person’s conduct continues to damage the property, they may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $805 for each day which the offence continues I addition to the penalties stated above.1 This is capped at $3,220.2
These penalties reflect the seriousness of this offence.