Charges to be laid against kereru shooters
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionMinister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson today said charges would be laid against five Norwegian hunters who shot and killed two protected kereru.
Date: 05 May 2010 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson today said charges would be laid against five Norwegian hunters who shot and killed two protected kereru with a high-powered rifle and then posted footage of the offence on the internet.
The Department of Conservation has completed its investigation report into the actions of the men, who also shot two paradise ducks out of game season during a four-day hunt near Franz Josef from January 10-13 this year.
Ms Wilkinson says the Norwegians had earlier obtained hunting permits for the Canterbury and Otago conservancies, but did not have permits to hunt on the West Coast where the offending occurred.
"The callous disregard these men showed for our native wildlife was outrageous and New Zealanders were justifiably angered by the footage they released.
"Their actions also upset the good people of Norway, who feel they have been tarnished by the idiotic actions of one small group.
"I have received an emailed apology from the five men and while I accept they now regret what they have done, I don't consider their excuses to be credible.
"The decision to lay charges means the District Court can issue warrants for their arrest that would be actioned should they ever return to New Zealand.
"It's more likely that these charges will deter these men from ever setting foot on our shores again."
The five hunters will have charges laid against them under the Wildlife Act 1953 and Conservation Act 1987.
The most serious offences carry penalties of twelve months imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000.
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