Iwi leader's future uncertain after guilty plea

  • 10/05/2016
Iwi leader's future uncertain after guilty plea

A Northland iwi leader's future is uncertain after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after shooting five protected kererū.

Ngāpuhi chairperson Sonny Tau was caught by Department of Conservation staff with the five wood pigeons at Invercargill Airport last year.

Tau originally admitted to having the five kererū but denied killing or hunting them, however he pleaded guilty to that charge in November.

It was at the Auckland hearing that police laid the more serious charge of perverting the course of justice which he pleaded guilty to at the Invercargill District Court on Monday.

Iwi leader's future uncertain after guilty plea

A native kererū. (Getty)

The board of trustees for Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngāpuhi said they were now considering Tau's future role and a statement would be released once a decision had been made.

Tau is due to be sentenced on June 16.

The kererū, the native wood pigeon, has been protected by law since 1912.

NZN