Wayne Puhi Malcolm had three titles of land to his Whanganui River property forfeited yesterday, and it was only an application by his son that saved the family home from being taken by the Crown.
It was a "crushing sentence", his counsel told the court, as Malcolm was sentenced in the Whanganui District Court by Judge David Cameron to two years and six months in prison.
The charges were cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis for sale, possession of a pistol and possession of a firearm without a licence.
Judge Cameron said there was some merit to the application by Malcolm's son. Malcolm's family had no involvement in the "large scale commercial" cannabis-growing operation, Judge Cameron said, when he granted leave for the application.
Malcolm's son lived on the property with his family, and forfeiture would cause hardship to them.
However, Malcolm's sentence start was deferred by the court so he could move his stock off the land, made difficult at this time because the Whanganui River is high.
Malcolm was remanded on bail and must surrender to Whanganui police on November 16 at 1pm, to start his prison sentence.
Malcolm's property is on the western side of the river, opposite Ranana.
The four certificates of title were worth a total of $240,000.
Malcolm had used five different plots adjoining his property to cultivate the cannabis.
In March 2010, police found 70 plants close to maturity, plot two was no longer in use but there was evidence of previous cannabis growing.
Plot three contained 178 cannabis plants close to maturity and plot four contained recent signs of cannabis cultivation which had been harvested before the arrival of the police, but which had been seen from a spotter plane.
When police searched the property the next morning they found four bread bags that contained a total of one pound of cannabis. The police put a value of $3200 on that amount.
On March 31, police found further amounts of head and leaf in Malcolm's bedroom and woolshed, estimated at a street value of $15,232. An ESR expert said Malcolm's crops were the "most well-tended" she had seen. The total amount of cannabis seized was estimated at a street value of $614,400.
During the search of Malcolm's home, $42,915.30 in cash was found in a safe in his bedroom, and when he was located in Wanganui later that day he was in possession of $3100.
Four firearms were also found at Malcolm's home and all were forfeited.