Northland iwi leader Sonny Tau has been sentenced in the Invercargill District Court today. Tau was sentenced to three months community detention and ordered to undertake 100 hours of community work after pleading guilty to charges of killing or hunting a protected species and unlawfully being in possession of protected wildlife. Tau was found in possession of five frozen kererū in June 2015.
He was also charged with perverting the course of justice. His sentence includes fines amounting to $12,000. Tau was ordered to pay $12,500 in costs to DOC.
Acting Board Chair of Te Rūnunga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi, Carol Dodd says, "The board will take advice and meet in the coming weeks to discuss and decide the next steps in regards to this matter. The Rūnanga, including the Board of Trustees will not comment further on matters relating to Mr Tau, until a further statement is released.”
Mr Tau took leave of absence from all Ngāpuhi group governance positions in October 2015.