Taranaki hapū 'desperate' to safeguard kaimoana extend rāhui up coastline

By Kelvin McDonald

A rāhui on collecting kaimoana along the Taranaki coastline has been extended by 30 kilometres as more hapū join desperate efforts to protect paua and other shellfish stocks in the region.

Parihaka kaumātua Te Whakamaharatanga Okeroa told RNZ the rāhui which has now grown from 10 to 40 kilometres "is essentially an act of desperation".

"It's us responding to what we consider to be a crisis. To not do anything about it to me is not an option at all," he said.

Okeroa's remarks follow the decision of marae hapū as far north as Parihaka to join hapū of Ōrimupiko marae near Ōpunakē who in January declared kaimona in their rohe off-limits.

RNZ reports that Ngā Mahanga a Tairi hapū of Puniho Pā and Okorotua marae are also considering the matter, which would see a further extension of the rāhui as far north as Ōākura.

The rāhui is in place until 31 July and most people are said to be respecting the ban.