Will the Kereru case mark the end of Raniera Sonny Tau's reign?

By Harata Brown

Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says Raniera Sonny Tau needs to step down from all his representative roles. This comes as Mr Tau admitted to perverting the course of justice at the Invercargill District Court yesterday.

Will the kukupa case mark the end of Raniera Sonny Tau's reign as a Ngāpuhi leader?

Henare thinks Tau should step down from all his representative roles.

“He'll be able to continue to meet the needs of the community, within the community, but Ngāpuhi wants to move on.”

However, an elder of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi disagrees. 

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi member Nau Epiha says, “Leave the sad and bad behind, let him remain in his roles. It wasn't through his line of work that the error was made. Ngāpuhi have not been misled.”

Yesterday, Raniera Sonny Tau pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after he admitted he lied about whether he had shot five protected wood pigeons.

“Ever since this case came before the courts, I have advocated for his removal from all his representative roles. Now that he's pleaded guilty to the charges, he must step down”, says Henare.

Before the controversial case, Tau was at the helm of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi and the iwi treaty settlement entity, Tūhoronuku. He was also a director for the Māori Fisheries Office, Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Epiha says, “At the beginning, he was there. Through all the hardships, he was there. Now he's admitted his faults, but it had nothing to do with the Rūnanga. Some say he should step down, I think that's a stupid idea.”

Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi is set to determine Tau's future with the Rūnanga in the best interests of all Ngāpuhi. Meanwhile, Tau declined to make comment.