Bay of Plenty men fined for taking thousands of pipi at Ohiwa

A group of men who collectively took more than five thousand pipi from Ohiwa Harbour have been convicted and fined for their offending.

Forty-seven-year-old Joseph Te Owai Koopu pleaded guilty to possessing 1,075 pipi when he appeared in the Whakatane District Court earlier this week.

He was convicted and fined $1,500 and the vessel he used in the offending was forfeited to the Crown.

Pakeha Onekawea, 18, and Wharerangi Te Ahuru, 33, were convicted and fined $1,400 and $1,500 respectively plus $130 court costs each for jointly possessing 3,562 pipi, many of which were too small to eat.

Riki Gavin Burnett, 47, also pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing 620 pipi and was convicted and fined $900 plus $130 court costs.

The daily limit for pipi collection is 150 per person.

All of the offending took place earlier this year.

Sam Gardner