The Kereru Club

Sonny Tau seems to have got the Koru Club mixed up with Kereru.

NZ Herald reported: Ngapuhi leader admits smuggling pigeon

Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau has admitted to being caught in possession of dead kereru and says he deeply regrets his mistake.

Mr Tau confirmed that he was questioned on Tuesday by a Department of Conservation officer about the kereru – also known as native wood pigeon – in his possession.

“I also wish to say this was a mistake, which I deeply regret. The laws around native bird protection are important and to be respected by all, myself included.”

It is believed that Mr Tau was questioned while boarding a plane in Invercargill, and was carrying five of the birds under his jacket.

There’s a lot being said about the wrongs of eating a protected species. It has been defended by some by mostly it’s been strongly criticised.

But one side issue amazes me.

Hiding five dead birds under your jacket – and they’re sizeable birds – seems odd enough.

But thinking you could get them through airport security undetected seems very naive, stupid or brash. Possibly a mix of all three.

Tau was boarding a plane in Invercargill, apparently heading home to Northland. That would almost certainly involve at least one jet flight, which means going through security checking.

I guess unless he was selected for the body X-ray, and the explosives test didn’t pick up any gunshot residue, he could have sneaked them through.

If he had succeeded what state would the birds have been in? They must have been dead a few hours before he started his trip. He would have been several hours at least at airports and in the air with the birds at body temperature – most Invercargill to Northland itineraries would have had multiple stopovers.

If Tau was in the Koru Club rather then the Kereru Club the food would have been a bit less suspect.

The Government has committed more funds to bio-security. I wonder what sort of under-jacket kereru detectors they will install at airports.

Maori males with the appearance of more breast under their jackets than looks natural should be a prime target for bio security attention.