Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is pleased with the recent prosecution of four whitebaiters in the Wairoa District Court for breaches of the whitebait regulations during the 2014 season.

Date:  24 July 2015

Conservation Services Manager, John Lucas said DOC take the issue of illegal whitebaiting seriously and will continue to prosecute people who deliberately flaunt the regulations. 

Arnie Samuels, 21, unemployed of Wairoa was fined $500 and both nets forfeited. Mr Samuels was observed using two nets in breach of the regulations where each fisher is permitted to use one net only. 

Matt Simmonds, 30, of Wairoa was also fined $500 and both nets forfeited. 

Pokimi Cooper, 48, of Wairoa and Ripeka Hook, 76, of Wairoa were convicted and discharged, both to pay $130 reparation to DOC. Their nets were forfeited for not remaining within 10 metres of set whitebait nets. 

Conservation Services Manager John Lucas said, “the 2014 whitebait season on the Wairoa river was extremely disappointing with staff removing 19 unattended nets and prosecuting a number of fishers.” 

These people are not only damaging the fishery by their illegal actions but spoiling the opportunity for people who are legally fishing. 

Mr Lucas said “if we want people to enjoy this healthy recreation, it is essential all whitebaiters observe the regulations. The Whitebait Regulations are there to protect the whitebait fishery for future generations.”  

The 2015 whitebait season starts on 15 August 2015. Information concerning the Whitebait Fishing Regulations can be obtained from DOC offices and visitor centres or on this website. 


Jamie Quirk, Ranger Services, DOC Gisborne
Phone: +64 6 869 0460 or +64 27 432 4920

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