Sonny Tau, “the pigeon murderer”, charged

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau has been charged with killing and smuggling native kereru.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has laid charges in the Invercargill District Court against the 61-year-old under the Wildlife Act.

A court date has been set for later this month.

Tau faces two charges in relation to the killing and possession of the wood pigeon after he was found with five of the dead birds at Invercargill Airport on June 16 on his way to Northland.

The bird is a fully protected species and can’t be taken or held without authorisation under the Act.

DOC won’t make any further comment in relation to the charges because it is now before the court.

The maximum fine is $100,000 and/or two years in prison.

Tau was forced out as chairman of Tuhoronuku, the iwi’s negotiating body for its Treaty settlement with the Crown, because of the investigation.

Rumours are swirling around that the pigeons he brought onto the plane had already been cooked. ? The thing I can’t figure out is why not stick it all inside a few sealed bags, pop it into a small carry-on bag, and nobody would have been the wiser. ? Why carry them under his coat?

On the good side, we have finally found an area where Maori will suffer the same laws as the rest of us: ?the Wildlife Act as it pertains to Keruru.

On the bright side, Sonny can still drive to and from the court without a license without running the risk of being fined for that.


– 3 News