Minister of religion attacks fishery officer

Date: 1/2/2005

An Assembly of God church minister who threatened a fishery officer with an oar after being caught with a large quantity of excess snapper on Hauraki Gulf was fined a total of $2000. Laulelei Tapui, a pastor at the Otara Church of God, was also ordered to pay court costs of $260 and had his outboard-powered fibreglass boat, fishing equipment and catch forfeited to the Crown. Another man, involved in the incident, Kata Finau, received fines of $3500 for possessing excess fish and obstructing a fishery officer by throwing illegally-caught fish overboard in an effort to prevent detection. Fishery officers managed to retrieve some of the fish while others were captured on film by a Crème TV camerman filming for the Coastwatch TV show.

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