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NZ bushy convicted of harvesting native timber

A Golden Bay New Zealand bushman who advertised rough sawn rimu timber for sale on the TradeMe website was convicted of having native timber milled without consent in Nelson District Court on 11 December 2013. Source: Voxy NZ

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 on a charge of having native timber milled without consent under the Forests Act 1949.

Three cubic metres of rough sawn rimu valued at approximately $3000 was forfeited to the Crown.

MPI District Compliance Manager for Nelson and Marlborough Ian Bright said Compliance Officers seized the illegally milled timber in November 2012.

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 manages 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 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.”