The Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Source/Bubs Smith - used with permission.
The rāhui imposed on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was lifted in a sunrise karakia this morning. Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro kaumatua Te Ngaehe Wanikau performed the required ceremonies to impose and lift the rāhui after a person died up on the trail last week. The trail is now open for all hikers.
Maunga Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. Source/Bubs Smith. Used with permission.
National Park police have confirmed that the deceased was a 63 year old male from Finland who had been living in Aotearoa for over 20 years. He was living in Palmerston North with his family when he attempted to traverse the crossing. This is the second death to occur on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing this year.
Rāhui is an ancient Māori practice where a prohibition is placed over an area. While it is common to impose rāhui over an area where a death, accident, or tragedy has taken place, they can be enacted for a variety of reasons.
A common example is when a rāhui is placed on area to prohibit hunting or fishing. This is done to promote the regeneration of food stock or preserve a rare animal, much like how the kiwi has protected species status.
They are often commenced and concluded with karakia.