Fishing and road safety were the catches of the day in Kawakawa Bay over the weekend.
Police and Ministry of Primary Industries joined forces south of Auckland, processing around 700 vehicles at checkpoints.
They were checking for impairment, vehicle roadworthiness and ensuring fisheries regulations were being followed.
Counties Manukau Road Policing Manager, Inspector Tony Wakelin says boaties clearly got the message that fishing, and drinking were two separate activities.
“Our operation was aimed at raising awareness about the dangerous mix of alcohol, boating and driving,” he says.
Around 700 breath tests were conducted during the operation, and it was very pleasing that no drivers were processed for excess breath alcohol.
However, infringement notices were issued for numerous driving offences, including speeding and boat trailers that did not have a warrant of fitness or were not road worthy.
Five trailers were in such poor condition due to rust, they were removed from the road.
Inspector Wakelin says towing a boat trailer that is not in a road worthy condition poses a risk to the vehicle occupants and other road users. By the nature of their use in salt water, the rusting of trailers is a real safety issue.
The operation was also a great example of the agencies working together.
MPI Regional Manager Fisheries Compliance, Andre Espinoza says MPI fishery officers carried out 113 inspections at Kawakawa Bay and only three minor fisheries offences were found including two people with excess kina, one person with an undersize snapper and three fishers with excess snapper.
“All of these fishers were educated and warned about the consequences of more serious offending, but generally compliance was very good in the area.”
“We encourage all fishers to download the free NZ Fishing Rules App to ensure they have the most up to date rules.
“You can expect to see MPI Fishery Officers on the water and along the coasts throughout summer, protecting fishing resources so that they’re sustainable into the future.”
Likewise for Police, Inspector Wakelin says motorists can expect a highly visible Police presence across the roading network this holiday season and all drivers stopped, can expect to be breath tested for the presence of alcohol.
Police would like to remind people that if you’re going to drink, don’t drive. Make sure you have a plan to get home or find a sober driver.
Our advice to anyone who is in any doubt about whether they’re safe or legal to drive is simple – don’t do it.
Imogen Neale/NZ Police