Ngāti Tamaterā concerned at ‘pillage’ of kaimoana stocks

By Bronson Perich

A spokesperson for Ngāti Tamaterā supports the Pare Hauraki rāhui of gathering kai mātaitai (shellfish). Speaking for Ngāti Tamaterā, Koro Ngapo says that the mass harvesting by summer tourists is depleting shellfish stocks to dangerous levels.

“Every summer, there’s an onslaught of people coming from Auckland, people coming from all over,” Koro Ngapo says.

“Basically to rape and pillage from our perspective anyway.”

The Pare Hauraki confederation are extremely concerned for their shellfish stocks. So they have requested that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) help to enforce this rāhui. It covers Waipatukahu/Tapu Beach, Te Mātā beach, and the foreshore out to two and a half kilometres.

“It has been depleted quite severely, especially the last 5-10 years,” Ngapo says.

Ngapo says it's not the first rāhui that Pare Hauraki has imposed and that the rapid depletion of shellfish stocks means that a two-year ban may be needed.

"If we don't do it now, we could possibly be facing depletion for all time."

He admits that not all Māori in the region necessarily agree with this issue and acknowledges that Māori in the area need to feed their families, but is concerned that some are taking too much.

Ngapo said that fishing and diving will not be banned as the purpose of the rāhui is to preserve kai mātaitai stocks on the beaches.