Locals want to put a stop to littering on Uretiti Beach

By Dean Nathan

The people of Patuharakeke in the Far North are keen to play a managing role in their tribal territory following the littering that has occurred during the holiday season.

Anti-sentiment against crab hunters is growing in this community after their beach was littered with pig heads and chicken bodies and all sorts of rubbish this summer.

Kiripete Paki says, “"It's disgusting with rotten pig heads. It's very upsetting.  As well as that, a Chinese man drowned crabbing on Uretiti, which is very sad."

Despite the current management by the council, DoC, the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Ruakākā Lifesaving Club, the locals took it upon themselves to tidy up their piece of paradise.  

There are also concerns over the two drownings here since Christmas. 

"They really have no idea, which is sad.  What is the priority here is the need to induct them into the practices of Māori world in relation to the land, the sea and collecting seafood," says Paki.

Patuharakeke had already filed an application to manage the traditional seafood resources in their territory and remain focussed on the realisation of their rights under the Treaty of Waitangi to have authority over their resources.

Paki says, "Patuharakeke are the stewards of the place.  This has been passed down us by our ancestors, the need to care for the land, sea and coastline."

This community are keen to meet with local government to have the matter addressed.