Conservation authorities are investigating after footage emerged online of a man apparently plucking and cooking a kererū.
Kererū are a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953 and fines for killing the native wood pigeon can reach up to $100,000 or two years in prison.
The Department of Conservation confirmed it was investigating allegations a man had cooked a kererū.
"Kererū are an absolutely protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953 and cannot be possessed without permission (whether [alive] or dead)," a spokesperson said.
"Any person breaching the act may face prosecution. No further comment will be issued while the investigation is underway."
In 2016, Ngāpuhi leader Raniera Sonny Tau was sentenced to community detention and fined $24,500 after shooting five kererū.
Tau was charged after five frozen kererū wrapped in newspaper were found in his checked-in luggage at Invercargill airport on June 16, 2015.
He admitted possessing them 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. Tau was also charged with killing the birds.
Judge Callaghan confirmed a fine of $12,000 for shooting the birds and ordered Tau to pay $12,5000 in reparation to the Department of Conservation (Doc) towards the cost of investigating the case. He was also ordered him to undertake 100 hours of community work.
Last year, a Dunedin man who shot a kererū from his backyard was ordered to do 175 hours of community work.
Truck driver Travis Jamie-Lee Parsons, 22, told the Otago Daily Times after charges were laid that it was simply a case of bad luck.
The defendant said he was shooting at a target, missed and the bullet inadvertently hit the native wood pigeon.
His mother, too, was keen to have a say.
"It's lots of drama over nothing," she said. "It's just a bloody pigeon. I don't care what you call it."
The position changed some months later when Parsons pleaded guilty to charges of hunting protected wildlife and discharging a firearm near a dwelling.
The court heard Parsons was at the back of his home, which bordered Woodhaugh Gardens, on December 11.
He had set up targets along a fence and after shooting at them he took aim at the native bird, which sat in a tree of a neighbouring property.
The slug hit the kererū in the chest, it fell from the tree and landed on top of a shed.
It was taken to the Department of Conservation for treatment but was euthanised several days later because of damage to its wing.
The Wildlife Act applies to all private land in New Zealand, with most of our native species protected under the act.