12 Dec 2012

Fine for illegally milling rimu and matai

10:39 am on 12 December 2012

A Whakatane man has been fined $30,000 for illegally milling native timber.

Former sawmiller Stuart Mckenzie Neilson pleaded guilty at Whakatane District Court to milling 17 cubic metres of rimu and matai from the Waimana area.

Under the Forests Act, indigenous timber can only be produced from forests which are managed in a way that maintains continuous forest cover and ecological balance.

Ministry for Primary Industries northern compliance manager Greg Keys says the ministry received information last year that Neilson was milling and selling indigenous timber and subsequent investigations uncovered serious offending.

Half the fine is to be paid as reparation to the ministry.