Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC welcomes the sentencing of Raniera Teitinga (Sonny) Tau in the Invercargill District Court today for the hunting of New Zealand pigeon or kererū/kūkupa.

Date:  11 August 2016

Mr Tau was fined $12,000 and ordered to pay DOC reparation of $12,500 for hunting and killing a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953. He was convicted and discharged on a second charge of possessing kererū.

A sentence of three months community detention and 100 hours community work was also imposed for the Police charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. This charge related to another person falsely admitting to hunting the kererū, which were in fact hunted by Mr Tau.

Mr Tau pleaded guilty to the two Wildlife Act charges, which were laid by DOC in July last year.

DOC Deputy Director-General Operations Mike Slater said the sentence sends a strong message that killing protected wildlife is not acceptable.

"DOC takes the illegal hunting of New Zealand's native species very seriously.

"The continued poaching of kererū puts extra pressure on a species already under threat from pests and loss of forest habitat," said Mike Slater.

"It also undermines the conservation work by DOC, councils, local communities and iwi to control pests and restore forests to safeguard this much-loved species and taonga."

Mr Tau was found with five frozen kererū in his possession at Invercargill Airport on 16 June 2015.

Kererū/kūkupa are a fully protected species and cannot be taken or held without authorisation under the Wildlife Act.


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