Our society values fish more than it does life itself

via Imgur

via Imgur

A trout poacher has been jailed for four months – about 18 months after he was found guilty of the original charges.

David Pake Leef, 37, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court yesterday to three months’ jail on charges of disturbing a spawning ground, possessing a net in a vicinity where sports fish congregated and taking the fish. The charges were brought by the Department of Conservation.

He was found guilty of the poaching charges in November 2014, but failed to appear in court for sentencing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to appear in court and was sentenced to an additional one month in prison on those charges.

His co-offender Thomas Tawha was sentenced to 12 months in jail in April, 2015.

So poach some fish, and go to jail.   What happens when you take someone’s life?

A Porirua woman has been sentenced to 12 months home detention for killing her partner during a domestic violence incident in a possible legal first.

Mother of five, Aaliyah Tagatauli, has previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter after stabbing Mura Tagatauli in the leg last March, he later died in Wellington Hospital.

Justice Clifford said he has not seen, or been able to find a case where manslaughter by stabbing led to a sentence of home detention.


The drunk driver responsible for claiming the life of 23-year-old Luke MacKenzie today avoided jail — and he has the victim’s family to thank for that.

“We didn’t wish that he and his family were tormented any more than was absolutely necessary,” Martin MacKenzie, Luke’s father, said of Xingyu Shang.

Luke, a young Air New Zealand employee, was driving to work early one Monday morning in February 2014 when Shang was drunk behind the wheel and crashed into him on Chapel Rd in south Auckland.

Instead of going to see if Luke was okay, Shang ran off and hitched a ride home.

“How we feel can never be expressed,” Mr MacKenzie says. “The loss of Luke is sad, but in particular the way in which we lost him, to drink driving.”

Three days before the case was meant to go to trial, Shang pleaded guilty to careless driving while under the influence and failing to stop after the crash.

While Luke’s parents don’t forgive Shang, they know holding a grudge won’t bring their son back — so in a rare move, they requested the 27-year-old stay out of jail.

This morning he was sentence to nine months’ home detention.

You can steal $100,000 from someone, even by cheating the IRD, and you’ll have trouble just to get that person inside a court room.  But mess with the country’s fish stock, and you’ll lose your car, boat, gear, and even your freedom.


– various

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.