The jailing of a man over p?ua poaching offences sends a strong message that the illegal gathering and selling of p?ua on the black market will not be tolerated, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Kait?ia man William Rini Wikitera, 42, received a year-long jail term when he was sentenced recently in the Auckland District Court on two charges under the Fisheries Act.
Wikitera, who has previous convictions for p?ua poaching, was one of two people before the court for p?ua-related offences committed between March and August 2015.
The offending was identified as a result of a complex investigation involving MPI fisheries officers and MPI compliance investigators.
The investigation identified approximately $12,000 worth of p?ua being sold in Northland and Auckland. The p?ua had been illegally gathered in Northland.
MPI team manager northern investigations Simon Anderson, says the sentence sends a clear message that taking more than the legal limit of p?ua as well as dealing with it on the black market is a serious offence.
“People should also be aware that this sort of illegal activity is very often witnessed by members of the public who play an invaluable role as our eyes and ears along New Zealand’s extensive coastline.
“We would like to thank again everyone who calls our poacher hotline 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) to report illegal activity.
08 August 2018