Date: 05 May 2016
A Danish national has been convicted and fined today in the Christchurch District Court for hunting and killing a protected species – whio/blue duck.
Rasmus Nielson, aged 24, was fined $10,000 for unlawfully hunting and killing a whio and hunting in a conservation area without a permit. The incident took place on the Perth River near Whataroa on the West Coast early in March.
Nielson pleaded guilty to the charges laid by the Department of Conservation under the Wildlife and Conservation acts.
With an estimated population of under 3000 birds nationwide, it is illegal to shoot or hunt whio.
DOC’s South Westland Operations Manager Jo Macpherson said the case served as a timely reminder at the start of duck shooting this Saturday 7 May for hunters to strictly adhere to the golden rule of hunting – identify your target.
“As this case demonstrates, ignorance is no excuse. Always identify your target beyond all doubt so whio, or any other of New Zealand’s protected species, are not mistakenly shot.”
The whio shooting in South Westland was within the manawhenua takiwā of Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio.
“Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio were distressed to learn that a whio had been killed illegally in our rohe, especially given their vulnerability and status as nationally endangered,” says Makaawhio Tumuaki (General Manager) Susan Wallace.
“Te Tai o Poutini (West Coast) are fortunate to still have pockets where these special birds can be found and the killing of one, when there have been so many efforts to save them, is senseless.”
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