Date: 13 June 2012
Two Canterbury men were sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court for hunting offences committed in Arthur’s National Park in December last year.
Bryce Allan Eastwick from Swannanoa, aged 23, was fined $750 for hunting at night and had his firearm forfeited to the Crown for hunting without a permit in a national park. Piet Roelof Out from Rangiora, also aged 23, was fined $750 for hunting at night in breach of his hunting permit, $750 for taking dogs into a national park and also had his firearm forfeited. Both men pleaded guilty to all charges.
The two men were seen by a police officer spotlighting in the area of Turkey Flat on 2 December across the Waimakariri River from the Klondyke Road-end camping area where people were camping. Their lights were seen sweeping over the tents and campervans a number of times.
When interviewed later by the department, both men admitted to spotlight hunting for deer in breech of hunting permit provisions. Out also admitted he knew that dogs were forbidden in national parks.
DOC Arthur’s Pass Field Centre Supervisor Chris Stewart said that the men were unaware that people were camping in the vicinity.
“This highlights why hunting after dark on conservation land is strictly prohibited because of the serious risk it poses to other people using these areas.”
If you want to hunt in Arthur’s Pass National Park or other conservation areas you must have a permit and the rules are very clear that there is no hunting at night.”
Hunters are warned that if they are found breaking the rules and putting people at risk, the Department will take action.”
The prosecution of the two men was a result of the NZ Police and DOC working together to address the issue of illegal hunting, said Stewart.
In March DOC issued a warning to hunters to refrain from illegal spotlighting on the back of several cases that had been through the courts, including the incident where Rosemary Ives was fatally shot at a DOC campground in Turangi in 2010.
Information on where to hunt on conservation land, how to get a permit and safe hunting practice can be found on the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz/hunting
Anyone who sees hunting activity at night on conservation land should contact the NZ Police immediately or call the DOC hotline on 0800DOCHOT.
Fiona Oliphant, DOC Canterbury, Public Awareness Officer: +64 27 470 1378