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Tau's future uncertain after guilty plea

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/05/2016

Sonny Tau outside court © RNZ / Tom Furley Sonny Tau outside court A Northland iwi leader's future is uncertain after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after shooting of five protected kereru.

Ngapuhi chairman 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 kereru but denied killing or hunting them, however he pleaded to guilty 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.

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

Tau, who faces a possible $24,000 fine as well as community detention, is due to be sentenced on June 16.

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

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