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29 November 2006
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) welcomes
the sentence handed down on Monday in the Wanganui District Court to Peter
Michael Knuth for using an unregistered sawmill to mill indigenous timber.
On two separate occasions in March 2005 MAF officers
visited a Wanganui property and found evidence that an unregistered portable
sawmill had been in operation. The officers could find no record of any
certificate of registration being issued to the defendant Knuth or David
(Tuffy) Churton, the owner of the timber.
Approximately 9.5 cubic metres of sawn timber was seized
by MAF. The timber was subsequently sold by the Indigenous Forestry Unit
(IFU) as it was considered likely to spoil.
Indigenous timber may only be milled in registered mills
after consent is granted by the IFU; and then only timber from registered
sustainable forest management plans, permits or other approved sources may be
legally milled on it.
The defendant admitted he knew the mill should be
registered and that it was not. He was fined $3000.
MAF's Indigenous Forestry Unit manager, Rob Miller,
said that harvesting and milling indigenous timber without the appropriate
consent threatens the sustainability of New Zealand's private indigenous
"New Zealand's remaining indigenous forest is
a scarce resource which must be protected," Rob Miller said.
Mr Miller said everyone in the industry including
harvesters, millers, transporters and purchasers should be aware that their
activities must be in compliance with the requirements of the Forests Act to
ensure a sustainable resource for all.
While some operators were attempting to profit through
illegal logging methods, the majority of indigenous forest owners in the
country who harvest timber manage their forests responsibly, Rob Miller said.
The Forests Act provides forest owners with a number of options for harvesting
and managing forests sustainably and the IFU is happy to provide advice and
assistance to forest owners free of charge about these options.
Indigenous Forest Unit Manager, 0-3-379 0217