Iwi leader charged over kereru

The kereru has been protected for over a century. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
The kereru has been protected for over a century. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery
Ngapuhi runanga chairman Sonny Tau has been charged with killing and possessing native wood pigeons after he was allegedly caught with five kereru in his possession at Invercargill Airport last week.

The Department of Conservation today laid charges in the Invercargill District Court against a 61-year-old Northland man for the alleged hunting/killing and possession of a protected species under the Wildlife Act.

Raniera Teitinga (Sonny) Tau has been summoned to appear in the Invercargill District Court on July 24, DoC said in a release.

Two charges have been laid in respect to the killing and possession of protected wildlife, namely New Zealand pigeon/kereru/kukupa.

The furore around the alleged offence led to Mr Tau stepping down as chairman of Tuhoronuku, the body the Government has mandated to act in Ngapuhi Treaty settlement claims.

Maximum penalties for the unlawful killing or taking of protected species are a fine of $100,000 and/or imprisonment of two years.

- By Mike Dinsdale of the Northern Advocate

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