Tourist shoots native bird
Video footage has emerged of a tourist shooting a kereru - a protected native species - and holding two dead, bloody birds in his hands.
The video, which features tourists who are believed to be Norwegian, shows the native wood pigeon being shot and falling from a tree.
Kereru are an absolutely protected species under the Wildlife Act and shooting one carries a fine of $100,000 or a year in prison.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson said she was "absolutely outraged" by the footage, which she found "despicable".
The Conservation Department was investigating.
The video, posted on YouTube three days ago, also shows tourists shooting a paradise shell duck.
Watch the video here. Warning: contains content that may disturb.
Paradise shell ducks are a game bird which can only be hunted during the hunting season, which starts in May, and with a licence.
Hunting game birds without a licence and outside the hunting season carries a $5000 fine.
The kereru's numbers are in decline due to habitat loss, predation, competition and illegal hunting.
Native trees depend on kereru to spread seeds, and the bird's decline would mean the decline of native forests.
The Dominion Post