Recidivist paua poachers banned from fishing for three years
A couple of recidivist paua poachers have been banned from fishing for three years.
Unemployed men Huni Tapiata, 38, and Levi Kenrick, 28, were caught during a roadside inspection by Ministry for Primary Industries officers on Waimarama Road, near Hastings on May 21, 2016.
The officers found 223 paua in the Toyota Hilux. The daily limit is ten paua per person. All but 29 of the paua were under the legal size of 125mm.
Tapiata, who was driving, said the paua was for two birthdays and a tangi.
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Tapiata was told to hand his vehicle into the Ministry’s Napier office on May 23. Tapiata rang a fishery officer on May 23 to say the Hilux “was in a heap in the bush” and he could not retrieve it.
Enquiries by the Ministry revealed that the car’s ownership had been changed on May 22 and the car had been seen at a new address.
Kenrick appeared in Hastings District Court on Tuesday. He was convicted and discharged on charges of possessing excess fish and possessing undersized fish. Tapiata had been convicted and discharged on the same charges, plus a charge of obstruction, last month.
This was Tapiata’s third conviction for fishery matters. He was convicted for similar offending in 2007 and 2014.
Kendrick was convicted of similar offending in 2013.
Anyone convicted of two or more of these offences within seven years can be banned from engaging in any fishing activity for three years from the date they are convicted.
Tapiata’s Hilux was forfeited to the Crown.
Both men were recently sentenced to prison for other offending.