Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


MAF applauds sentences for illegal logging

MAF applauds sentences for illegal logging

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) applauds the sentencing handed down today in the Christchurch District Court to two men and a sawmilling company for milling indigenous (rimu) timber without a consent.

West Coast farmer Michael Kevin Milne was fined a total of $6,500 for his involvement in the milling of the rimu, including providing the rimu from his land and procuring the other defendants’ offending. John Richard Groome was convicted and discharged, while his company Kaiapoi Contractors Ltd was found guilty of milling and fined $1,500. Judge Moran considered that Groome and his company were one and the same.

MAF was also awarded costs, which will be set by the District Court Registrar at a later date.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this case as it sends a clear message to people who break the rules around harvesting and milling timber from native forests,” says Robert Miller, MAF’s Indigenous Forestry Unit (IFU) manager.

“Harvesting and milling indigenous timber without the appropriate consent, or beyond the conditions of a consent, threatens the sustainability of New Zealand’s private indigenous forests.”

The prosecution followed an investigation by the IFU that began in October 2003 after reports that rimu trees had been illegally harvested and milled from private forest land at Milltown, in Westland’s Arahura Valley.

The investigation revealed that a number of live rimu trees had been harvested on Milne’s property instead of dead, wind-thrown and salvaged trees for which a consent had previously been issued.

As part of the investigation, the IFU seized 7.07 cubic metres of sawn rimu from a timber yard. Under its Forests Act powers, the IFU sold the seized rimu and held the proceeds of sale in trust pending the outcome of the prosecution. Today’s ruling included an order that the proceeds of that sale ($12,408) are forfeited to the Crown.

Native timber on privately owned land may only be milled where it has been harvested in accordance with an approval under the Forests Act. These include Sustainable Forest Management Plans and Permits, personal use harvesting and milling approvals and milling statements for one-off situations such as wind-thrown trees, naturally dead trees or salvaged timber. All sawmills used for milling native timber must also be registered with the IFU.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news