Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Putting PAID to paua poaching

6 April 2011

Putting PAID to paua poaching

The Ministry of Fisheries today announced the culmination of one of the longest and most comprehensive paua poaching operations in New Zealand’s history.

Operation PAID, standing for Paua and Illegal Divers, a two-year operation in Wellington and elsewhere, netted a total of 53 defendants who faced 321 charges. Most of the defendants have now been sentenced.

Twenty-eight received prison sentences ranging from seven months to three years two months, and 23 community-based sentences from 70 hours’ community service to seven months’ home detention and 200 hours’ community service.

Operation PAID was a year-long covert operation targeting the organised poaching, sale and distribution of paua from the Wellington coastline. In May 2008, 200 Fishery Officers and Police undertook simultaneous enforcement action in Auckland, Wellington, Opotiki and Hastings, the climax of an operation that had started six months earlier.

Andrew Coleman, Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Executive Field Operations, said the Ministry was very pleased with the results of Operation PAID. “It’s been a long haul but a rewarding one,” Mr Coleman said. “Thank you to all Ministry staff involved over such an extended period.”

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley also paid tribute to the teamwork that was necessary to deliver such a comprehensive outcome.

“Unravelling sophisticated criminal enterprise like this takes exceptional organisation and persistence,” Mr Heatley said. “The Ministry demonstrated both these things. The Government totally supports its efforts to stop the criminals in their tracks. Fish thieves must be nailed,” he said.

One of the Operation PAID defendants, Thin Thi Vu, took her technical defence all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost. While the appeal process was in train, the Ministry kept tabs on similar cases.

Mr Coleman said there was now no doubt that the Ministry was able to pursue fisheries criminals with the full force of the law behind it.

“We have a win-win situation – for the Ministry and for the public,” Mr Coleman said. “We’ve finally put PAID to bed, and we’re able to keep using the full range of compliance tools available to us to protect our fisheries from thieves like these.”

Operation PAID will feature in the next series of Coastwatch on TV ONE, with the first episode scheduled for 7.30 pm on Monday 11 April.

The completion of Operation PAID comes at the same time as the Ministry’s public summer awareness programme, “4 Million Guardians”, is coming towards a successful conclusion.

Andrew Coleman said that while paua poaching remains a problem, he was impressed with the vigilance responsible fishers had shown over the summer. “We had record numbers of calls to the 0800 4 POACHER line, some of which led directly to apprehensions,” he said.

Members of the public are reminded to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) in confidence if they see anything illegal or suspicious in our fisheries.

He kaitiaki tätou katoa

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


 

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:

UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>

ALSO:

2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>

ALSO:


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels