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Pigeon crime “culturally acceptable” says Ngapuhi leader

Pigeon crime “culturally acceptable” says Ngapuhi leader

The Ngapuhi leader David Rankin has come out in support of embattled Ngapuhi Runanga chairman Sonny Tau, who is being investigated by the Department of Conservation for trying to smuggle five kereru (native pigeons) under his jacket on a flight to Northland.

Mr Rankin, who is currently preparing for a PhD in cultural property rights, admits to having eaten kereru and even kiwi in the past, and says that this is entirely culturally acceptable, and furthermore, is a Treaty right.

“Sonny has done nothing wrong according to Ngapuhi tikanga, and article two of the Treaty of Waitangi guarantees Maori the full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of our fauna and flora. Basically, the problem is that the law hasn’t caught up with the Treaty,” says Mr. Rankin.

Mr Rankin encourages other Ngapuhi to honour the Treaty in the way Sonny Tau has, but warns that there can be legal consequences for doing so.


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