Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

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

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Smokefree Laws Debacle

The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out - for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable view is that the government was being deliberately misleading. Are we to think Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is a fool, or a liar? It seems rather early on in his term of office to be facing that unpleasant choice. Yet when Luxon (and senior MP Chris Bishop) tried to defend the indefensible with the same wildly inaccurate claim, there are not a lot of positive explanations left on the table.... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.