4 Mar 2016

Sonny Tau's court case transferred to Invercargill

6:43 pm on 4 March 2016

Northland iwi leader Sonny Tau has had his case for shooting Kereru transferred to Invercargill.

Sonny Tau outside court

Sonny Tau outside court Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

The former chair of the country's largest iwi, Te Runanga-a-Iwi-o-Ngapuhi, appeared briefly at the Auckland District Court today.

His lawyer John Munro asked for the case to be sent back down south.

Mr Tau has admitted charges of shooting five endangered Kereru that were found in his luggage.

According to court documents seen by RNZ News, he had visited family in Invercargill in June.

Before flying to his home in Northland he was searched by a Conservation Department officer who found the frozen Kereru, along with a .22 calibre rifle.

Mr Tau told the authorities the birds were for kaumatua.

He also faces another charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, which is connected to the case.