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BoP men sentenced for stealing ponga

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/09/2016

Two Bay of Plenty men who stole ponga from public conservation land have been sentenced to community work.

Tyson Brake and Bruce Hector McCollum, of Ngongataha, pleaded guilty to taking 54 ponga logs from the Rotoehu Conservation Area.

In Rotorua District Court on Monday, Brake was sentenced to 200 hours of community work and had his chainsaw confiscated.

McCollum, who also pleaded guilty to a charge of giving false details to compliance officers, was sentenced to 260 hours of community work.

Department of Conservation solicitor Mike Bodie says the prosecution is the result of ongoing surveillance of conservation areas and vigilance of the community.

"The sentencing illustrates how DOC is working with the wider community to address this illegal activity and sends a clear message that we will prosecute," he said.

DOC compliance officers caught Brake and McCollum taking the logs, which they seized, along with a trailer and a chainsaw.

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