Wood theft fines for re­serve re­moval

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Three men have been sen­tenced for steal­ing wood from a Ro­torua re­serve.

Michael Jerome Leo Ni­chol­son, Jor­dan Wil­liam Robert Hodge and Con­nor Joseph Rivers all pleaded guilty to a charge of re­mov­ing wood from the Patetere Scenic Re­serve in Ma­maku at Ro­torua Dis­trict Court on Mon­day.

Rivers and Hodge also ad­mit­ted pro­vid­ing a false name and ad­dress when ques­tioned by a Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC) Ranger.

Rivers was sen­tenced to 100 hours com­mu­nity work and two months dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from driv­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle. Hodge was fined $1250 on the same charges.

On the charge of re­mov­ing wood from Patetere Scenic Re­serve Ni­chol­son was or­dered to come up for sen­tence if called upon within nine months, and two months dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from driv­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent Steven Peters, a 42 year-old pa­per maker of Kaw­erau was con­victed and fined $1250 for re­mov­ing wood from Lake Ro­toma Scenic Re­serve. This re­serve is an eco­log­i­cally im­por­tant cor­ri­dor and buf­fer to north­ern Lake Ro­toma

In both cases DOC Rangers seized the chain­saws used by the of­fend­ers along with the stolen wood which was loaded onto the of­fend­ers’ utes.

The max­i­mum penalty is im­pris­on­ment or a fine of up to $100,000.

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