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


DOC has prosecuted a Porangahau man for two breaches of the Whitebait Fishing Regulations.

Date:  16 April 2018

DOC became aware of the offending on 19 August 2017 after New Zealand Police were tipped off by a frustrated member of the public.

A DOC warranted officer travelled to the scene with local police where they discovered two nets owned by Brendon John Taylor unattended – one on each side of the Porangahau river.

Shortly after seizing the nets the officers were approached by Taylor who not only admitted to having set the two nets, but he did so knowing it was an offence and chose to set them anyway.

Following this admission, DOC laid two charges against Taylor - one of using more than one net to catch white bait, and the other for being more than 10 metres from his whitebaiting net.

Taylor appeared at the Waipukurau District Court 13 April 2018 where he pleaded guilty to both charges.

He received fines totalling $600 and was ordered to pay $130 in court costs. His fishing equipment was forfeited to the Crown.

Hawke’s Bay Operations Manager Connie Norgate says this was a good result as DOC had worked with police during the season in an effort to better educate fishers and curb illegal white baiting. 

Whitebaiters can find more information on current regulations by picking up a regulations pamphlet at local sporting shops or visit whitebaiting.

Background information

The Whitebait Fishing Regulations 1994 are made pursuant to the Conservation Act 1987 and are administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). The general purpose of the Act is to promote the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic resources, and one of DOC’s statutory functions is to protect and manage the whitebait fishery.

The Whitebait Fishing Regulations allow the sustainable harvest of native fish during the whitebait fishing season. The whitebait season for Hawkes Bay runs from the 15 August to 30 November inclusive.

Under section 46(5) Conservation Act 1987 on conviction for an offence, any fishing gear used in the commission of an offence may, on the direction of the Court, be forfeited to the Crown. Section 46(8) states any forfeiture imposed shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for, any other penalty that may be imposed.

 An order for forfeiture of the two sock nets seized was sought in this case.


Connie Norgate, Operations Manager

Rod Hansen, DOC Ranger Biodiversity

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