By Anna Ferrick
Three people have pleaded guilty to taking marine life from inside the Te Angiangi reserve on the Central Hawke's Bay coast, with seven others charged with similar offending and due to reappear in court over the coming weeks.
Department of Conservation ranger and honorary fisheries officer Rod Hansen said yesterday the Te Angiangi reserve, the only marine reserve in Hawke's Bay, was often a magnet for offenders.
"Te Angiangi unfortunately has a very high level of offending. I think probably its Achilles heel is its accessibility. Accessibility to paua and kina is high, so I guess people can't help themselves."
Mr Hansen said the reserve is clearly signed from the turn-off near Waipawa down to the beach itself.
The signage the department had put up would make it difficult for someone to enter that reserve and claim they didn't know, he said.
Six people were called in Hastings District Court yesterday with Stuart John Graham, 33, Brian Leonard List, 58, and Kerry Laurence Townsend, 36, pleading guilty to a charge of taking marine life.
A lawyer for the Department of Conservation, Mike Bodey, said all three had been caught inside the reserve on various dates in December last year. More....