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MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) has seized some 10 cubic metres of suspected illegally milled indigenous timber in the Nelson region following the execution of search warrants at three sites.
The raids occurred last week near Takaka in Golden Bay. Charges may follow once MPI completes its investigations, says John Slaughter, MPI Manager Regional Compliance South.
“We are very pleased with the results of the investigation to date but are disappointed this type of activity is occurring. Illegal milling in general is a major threat to New Zealand’s indigenous forests.”
Harvesting of privately owned indigenous forests is permitted under the Forests Act. However, all sawmills working with such timber must be registered and have approval from MPI.
“The regulations are there to ensure any milling of native forests is done in a sustainable manner. MPI ensures this happens by setting harvest limits and by monitoring and auditing milling activity,” says Mr Slaughter.
“We ask anyone with knowledge of suspicious milling involving indigenous timber to call our confidential 0800 number [0800 008 333] or any MPI office.”
04 8940164 or 0298940164