Two-year rāhui on Waiheke Island to help kaimoana replenish

By Taroi Black

Members of Ngāti Pāoa Iwi are urging the public to avoid collecting kaimoana around Waiheke Island for a minimum of two years.  

The iwi has imposed a rāhui that restricts the public and commercial fishing from accessing kaimoana from the foreshore to a nautical mile offshore, allowing taonga species to be restored and replenished.  

Ngāti Pāoa Iwi Trust Board member Herearoha Skipper says the iwi has been encouraged by local support. "What's clear is we all share a sense of responsibility to protect our kaimoana across Tikapakapa for future generations."

Waiheke Island is one of the most populated islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

The rāhui restricts collecting tipa (scallops), kūtai (mussels), kōura (crayfish) and pāua (abalone).

Members of the local community, businesses, Piritahi Marae, Ngāti Pāoa Trust Board, NgātiPāoa Iwi Trust, iwi and hapū have all expressed concern about the declining inshore biodiversity. 

A management plan including new detailed signage, boundary markings and cultural marine monitoring are partof a wider discussion. Meanwhile the rāhui will be in place for at least two years and failure to comply may lead to prosecution under the Fisheries Act section 186A.