May 09, 2016
Expensive meal for Tau
Former Ngapuhi runanga chair Sonny Tau has pleaded guilty to all charges connected with hunting protected kereru after a judge indicated a prison sentence was unlikely.
In the Invercargill District Court yesterday, Judge Mark Callaghan indicated he would fine Tau $12,000 on all charges, order him to pay $12,500 in costs to the Department of Conservation, as well as give him three months' community detention and 100 hours of community work.
He will be sentenced on June 16, a year to the day since he was stopped at Invercargill Airport with five native pigeons in his luggage.
He had earlier admitted hunting and possessing the birds, and yesterday also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice by trying to get his daughter's partner, Douglas James Sadlier, to claim he had shot them.
The community detention could cramp Tau’s ability to contribute to the Iwi Leaders Forum and other national groups.
He has been on leave from his position as Ngapuhi chair since last year.
Acting chair Carol Dodd says the runanga’s board will now determine his future role.
She says the main concern is to determine what is in the best interests of all Ngapuhi.
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