Gisborne orchards

New Zealand: Avocado thieves sentenced

Between August 21 and October 11 last year, two men stole avocados from Gisborne orchards, worth about $22,000. It was a series of planned thefts that involved up to five people.

Stephen Mackey and Hamiora Tawaho Tiaki Raroa were jointly charged with eight thefts from four separate orchards at Ferry Road, Ingram Road, Bushmere Road and Back Ormond Road. They were sentenced by Judge Haamiora Raumati this week. Each was ordered to do 180 hours community work and pay a half share of the loss.The pair were arrested after stealing about 1400 avocados from the Bushmere Road orchard, where Mackey’s father and another person were also involved in the theft.

Police were able to count the number of avocados taken from the Bushmere Road property, as the four offenders were in a vehicle with the fruit.

According to, the losses suffered by other orchardists could only be estimated. The $22,000 total reparation ordered against Mackey jnr and Raroa was based on an estimated 22,000 fruit, valued at $1 each.

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