Te Tauihu iwi place rāhui across entire northern coastline of South Island

By Kelvin McDonald
Credit:  Nelson Malborough Helicopter Rescue / Newshub

Te Tauihu iwi have placed a rāhui across the entire northern coastline of Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui (the top of the South Island), as floodwaters continue to pose significant disruptions across the rohe.

The rāhui, which took effect at noon on Saturday, covers the area from Te Parinui o Whiti (the White Bluffs) in the east, west to Kahurangi Point, including Aorere and Tai Tapu. It covers all coastlines, river mouths, and floodwaters, and prevents the gathering of seafood and kai in these areas as well as swimming and entering the water, Te Tauihu iwi said in a statement Sunday.

The rāhui was implemented by the Iwi Emergency Management Rōpū, which works as part of the Nelson-Tasman Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), with the support of the eight mana whenua iwi of Te Tauihu. A rōpū of mana whenua iwi gathered at Tāhunanui for karakia to acknowledge the implementation of the rāhui.

Photo / Supplied

Iwi Emergency Management Rōpū Tikanga Pou lead Barney Thomas said the rāhui would remain in place as long as te Taiao dictated.

“It has to be healthy and that could be some time off. It’s sad that we are here again, but that is Tāwhirimātea and what we must do as people of the land is work with that - work with what we are handed.”

The eight iwi currently have representatives working as part of Emergency Management Operations Centres in both Nelson-Tasman and Wairau.

Iwi Emergency Management Rōpū representative and Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Pouwhakahaere Rauemi Dr Lorraine Eade said iwi and Māori rōpū had come together quickly to support communities.

“That’s the plus side to a very bad situation not just for Wairau, not just for Whakatū or Mohua, but for the entire rohe. The way marae, iwi and Māori social services have stood up has been incredible and this sort of support people is what helps our communities get through such stressful times.”

Waikawa Marae was activated on Saturday to support people stranded in Picton with the temporary closure of State Highway 1 between Tuamarino and Koromiko. Omaka Marae in Blenheim and Tuamātene in Grovetown were also placed on standby but have since been stood down.

“We want to acknowledge our marae, kaimahi on the ground and also the many others who have offered and continue to offer manaaki and support. There is still a long road ahead, but together we do get further.”