The early dawn of Waitangi at Tāwharanui regional park was punctuated by the ancient calls of the pūtātarā, and kaikaranga and the many karakia of our kaumātua who laid down a rāhui tapū across the northern waters of Te Moananui o Toi (Hauraki Gulf) to protect tipa (scallops).
Ngāti Manuhiri was well supported by our whanaunga from Ngāti Rehua, Ngāti Wai, Te Uri o Hau, Nga Puhi, Ngāti Paoa, Hauraki, and Te Arawa. The early start saw many community groups and stakeholders join mana whenua, tangata whenua to support our efforts to protect the last remaining tipa from total collapse.
Kuia Aunty Coral travelled from her home at Pakiri in the early hours of the morning to brave the wet and windy conditions to tautoko the kaupapa and as our Aunty said “I’m happy to be here with you and support Mook and our Trust” nga mihi aroha e te whaea mo to korero me awhi ki a koutou.
There was a large turnout from rangatahi who were active in the ceremonial procedures and are supportive of assisting with further kaitiakitanga, kia mau te wehi! As well our Phil Hunter whānau led by whaea Donna Hunter-Nepia travelled up from the Bay of Plenty and for whom the trip home to our rohe was their first time. “We love the mahi of the Trust to protect the taonga and support what our Rangatira Mook is doing for all of us”.
The rāhui tapū was placed at multiple sites within Te Moana Nui-ō-Toi (Hauraki Gulf) including Mangatawhiri (Omaha), Te Kawau Tu Maro ō Toi (Kawau Island), Mahurangi, and Hauturu-ō-Toi (Little Barrier Island) and Aotea (Great Barrier Island) to allow tipa (scallops) and other kaimoana to restore and replenish.
The population of shellfish species such as tipa have been declining for decades. The rāhui will prohibit commercial and recreational dredging and the gathering of these taonga species. There are closures in the Coromandel East and Waiheke island areas.
A temporary closure application has also been submitted to the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Hon David Parker, under section 186a in addition to the rāhui tapū.
Acting CEO Nicola MacDonald says, “Mana whenua across the Gulf are demonstrating leadership in Te Taiao by executing our own indigenous fisheries management practices and Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust are leading by example through the rāhui tapū and application”.
See the below media articles and video's for more information.