The Ngapuhi Runanga has decided to extend Sonny Tau's leave as chairman of the board for a further six months after he was found guilty and sentenced for hunting kukupa and perverting the course of justice.

Raniera (Sonny) Tau has been on leave from his role as chairman of Te Runanga-A-Iwi O Ngapuhi since October last year after he was charged with hunting and possessing native wood pigeons.

Mr Tau was charged after five frozen kukupa wrapped in newspaper were found in his luggage at Invercargill Airport on June 16 last year.

He admitted possessing the birds but said his daughter's partner, Douglas James Sadlier, had shot them. Later, both men admitted concocting that story and were charged with perverting the course of justice.


Mr Tau was ordered to pay $24,500 and serve 100 hours' community work when he was sentenced on August 11.

The runanga board said it would extend Mr Tau's leave for a further six months to "allow the completion of his three-month community detention sentence, and after that a smooth transition for the incoming chief executive" who begins on November 2.

Acting chairwoman Carol Dodd said the board had put the interests of Ngapuhi first, as it did in all matters.

"Following the six-month period of leave, the board will again assess the situation regarding Mr Tau's role within the organisation," the board said in a statement.