The Auckland SPCA is investigating after a video was posted on social media showing a boy killing a pukeko before ripping it in half.
The video was shared to the SPCA's Facebook page on Friday.
SPCA chief inspector Greg Reid said they were working to establish when the video was taken and identify the people in it.
"Through the investigation, if we establish the animal was tortured and killed for no reason, then hopefully we will be able to hold someone accountable through the courts.
"I have not seen the footage yet but from what understand it shows a young man killing a pukeko before ripping it in half by the wings," Mr Reid said.
He said the maximum penalties for animal cruelty included five years in prison and a $75,000 fine.
Pukeko are a protected species, but can be shot for sport during the shooting season.