A Tauranga court has thrown out the customary rights defence of two Maketu men, who had tried to defend their use of scuba gear to gather a large, illegal haul of mussels.
Norman Reid and Luke Wilson had been caught at the boat ramp with more than 1200 mussels – several times the legal limit.
Judge Noble ruled that their customary rights permit was not valid for that, even though it had been signed by an authorised person.
He convicted them for possession of mussels and use of breathing apparatus, and fined them both in total more than $2,000.
Reid also forfeited his boat and gear to the Crown.
Source – NZ City