Prison sentence for taking wildlife from marine reserve

DOC compliance officers observed Richard Harry Tai Timu, along with others, taking protected marine life from the reserve in December 2018. The offenders had ignored numerous signs indicating the area was a fully protected marine reserve.

Timu pleaded guilty to taking marine life from the marine reserve and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment, to be served concurrently with other matters, in the Hastings District Court on 27 May 2019.

Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is in the central coastline of Hawke’s Bay, between Aramoana and Te Parimahu (Blackhead).

It is part of a network of marine reserves managed by DOC across New Zealand. The Marine Reserves Act 1971 protects these areas and sets out penalties for anyone who flouts the rules within the reserves.

All plant and animal life, alive or dead, within marine reserves, are totally protected. No fishing, seaweed or shellfish gathering is allowed. Protection also extends to include reefs and the seafloor in marine reserves.

DOC Hawke’s Bay Acting Operations Manager Carl Baker says that Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is treated by most visitors with respect.

“It’s a special and unique marine area, the only marine reserve we have in Hawke’s Bay, and we will always act promptly to protect this area from illegal activity,” he says.

DOC compliance officers patrol Te Angiangi regularly.

Visitors to the area are encouraged to keep an eye out for illegal activity in Te Angiangi Marine Reserve. Any suspicious or illegal activity observed along our coasts or in marine reserves can be reported to 0800 POACHER (0800 447 6224) or 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

Te Angiangi Marine Reserve remains highly regarded by local people as a specially protected marine area. The reserve was named by local hapū represented by Ngāti Kere to honour local history.

People can visit the reserve but need to be aware of the rules. Signs at access points to Te Angiangi clearly indicate to visitors the reserve boundaries as well as the rules.

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