Whitebaiter a no-show at court

17:00, Aug 01 2014

Security at the New Plymouth District Court was beefed up for the appearance of an aggressive rule-breaking whitebaiter on Thursday.

However, Eugene Loui Nuku, 45, failed to turn up, and was convicted and fined $600 in his absence at a judge-only hearing.

Nuku breached whitebait fishing regulations on November 7 last year when rangers found he was blocking more than one third of the Whanganui Stream, near Warea, with his set net.

Later that day, Nuku made threats to the rangers by phone because they confiscated his net, the court heard.

The rangers had already spoken to Nuku in October about altering the structure of the stream bed and had given him a copy of the Whitebaiter's Guide to Whitebait, which explained the fishing regulations.

In June, Nuku pleaded not guilty and was remanded for a hearing.

Department of Conservation solicitor Kevin Smith requested extra security at court because Nuku had a tendency for angry behaviour.

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Taranaki Daily News