The strong smell coming from Tremaine Turanga Reweti's car led police to the cannabis in the boot.

On April 1, Reweti was stopped by police on Broughton St in Whanganui.

"A strong smell of cannabis was smelt coming from the vehicle," Police prosecutor sergeant Rachel Willemsen told the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

Police searched the vehicle and Reweti advised them it was in the boot of the car.

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"The cannabis was located... on top of a blue tarpaulin in plain view."

The cannabis weighed 143g when dry.

Ms Willemsen said the cannabis had a street value of $1250-$1500 if sold in ounces and $2860 if sold in tinnies.

Reweti pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for supply.

Lawyer Anna Brosnahan said her client had said it was for personal use.

"[He's] never been to court before for drug related offences."

Judge Dugald Matheson sentenced Reweti to 200 hours community work and nine months supervision.

Reweti was also to complete any alcohol and drug courses as directed.

"That's not to teach you how to do it, it's to teach you how to stop doing it."