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James Bond Not Licensed To Shoot

12 April 2006

James Bond Not Licensed To Shoot

Darren James Bond faced the consequences of shooting without a licence when the Whangarei District Court fined him a total of $2,210 for hunting without a game bird licence on 13 March.

When Mr. Bond was first approached by a Fish & Game ranger in 2003, he signed a declaration saying he'd bought a hunting licence from Hunting & Fishing in Westgate, Auckland. Fish & Game established that this was not the case, and initiated legal action against him for hunting game birds in an open season without a licence.

Rudi Hoetjes, Fish & Game Manager, Northland, says the level of fine imposed on Bond reflects the time and expense it has taken to get a legal conviction against him as well as his dishonesty at the outset. "The largest fine we've seen imposed in the past has been $700."

As well as signing a false declaration, Mr. Bond failed to appear in court two years ago and further delays made this an expensive conviction to pursue. "Judge Barber recognised this by imposing a fine of $1100, together with legal and court costs as well as $600 and costs again for obstructing a ranger in the execution of his duties," said Mr. Hoetjes.

At the other end of the country Fish & Game Southland Manager, Maurice Rodway, says the region recently prosecuted two trout anglers for trout fishing without a licence - and who also gave false particulars. Both were fined $1300 each earlier this month.

"These fines are higher that we have seen in the past, we would usually see fines imposed of around $600, " says Mr. Rodway. He says last year, the region had 22 trout fishing and 16 game bird hunting offences go to court.

Bryce Johnson, Director Fish & Game New Zealand, says: "These fines reflect a growing awareness of the value of New Zealand's sports fish and game bird resource, Fish & Game's increasing costs of managing and enhancing this resource, and the effects on the 98% of those who enjoy this resource with respect and honesty. With this year's gamebird hunting season beginning on 6 May, I encourage all hunters to buy their licence early, familiarise themselves with this year's regulations, and to enjoy this season while keeping firearms safety and ethical behaviour at the forefront."

ENDS

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