Firm caught hazing Thar loses licence

Earlier in the year I wrote about a helicopter firm that was busted on video hazing Thar. I released the video (viewed nearly 9000 times) at the time along with details of the complaint…a story the media ignored.

Well, now that firm has lost its licence to hunt on Conservation lands as a result of the ensuing investigation.

A company has lost its hunting permit after illegally hunting thar on conservation land in the South Opuha area.

Department of Conservation’s Eastern South Island services director Andy Roberts said Ashburton company Station Air’s permit to do aerially-assisted trophy hunting was terminated after a breach of the permit conditions. ??

The incident happened on February 15 in the South Opuha area in the Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. In May, deer hunters provided a sworn affidavit to DOC, saying they witnessed a helicopter operator chase thar into a small gully before dropping off two people to shoot the animals.

“The company’s permit was suspended in July. It followed a complaint about alleged unlawful trophy-hunting activities undertaken by Station Air Ltd director Laurie Prouting ,” Roberts said.

“The investigation found that the company was not permitted to carry out aerially-assisted trophy hunting in that part of the conservation park and that those involved did not hold permits to hunt on public conservation land,” he said.

Prouting had no comment when contacted.

Prosecuting the company for alleged offences under the Wild Animal Control Act was considered by DOC, but it decided terminating the permit was more appropriate.

“This was in part due to Prouting’s previous good record with concession permits.”

An unrelated second incident of alleged illegal aerially-assisted trophy hunting was said to have occurred in Twizel. That investigation is ongoing.



– Timaru Herald