Bushman fined for milling offence

Last updated 13:00 20/12/2013

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A Golden Bay bushman has been fined for having native timber milled without consent.

Andrew Benjamin Kelsall, 38, of Golden Bay, also known as "Possum", was fined $3000 and ordered to pay $1000 costs to the Ministry for Primary Industries after being convicted in the Nelson District Court of having native timber milled without consent under the Forests Act 1949.

He had advertised rough sawn rimu timber for sale on the TradeMe website.

Three cubic metres of rough sawn rimu valued at about $3000 has been forfeited to the Crown.

MPI district compliance manager for Nelson and Marlborough Ian Bright said compliance officers seized the illegally milled timber in November last year.

Inquiries revealed Kelsall paid $600 to have the timber milled at a sawmill that was not registered under the Forestry (Indigenous Timber Milling) Regulations 1993.

As a bushman, Kelsall knew he needed a consent to have native timber milled and that unregistered sawmills are prohibited from milling native timber.

He declined the opportunity to explain his actions to compliance officers. The origin of the timber is unknown.

The Forests Act 1949 managed the harvesting and milling of native trees by controlling the extent of any harvest to ensure the sustainability of New Zealand's native forests, said Mr Bright.

"There are strong sustainability measures and a rigorous consenting system to protect this precious resource and ensure that legitimate operators in the native timber industry are protected from black market trading and sales such as this.

"This sort of offending is unacceptable and MPI is pleased to see the courts setting a strong deterrent.

"We take the laws that govern our native forests very seriously and will use all resources at our disposal to ensure New Zealand's environment and natural resources are protected for future generations."

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