Second Mataitai Reserve Set Up
08 March 2001
The country's second Mataitai reserve, at Koukourarata (Port Levy) on Banks Peninsula, has been confirmed.
This mataitai, gazetted on 15 December 2000, is unique in its management and area, as it takes in all the Koukourarata (Port Levy) catchment, and offers good opportunities for local management of local resources. It also recognises the special relationship the Kai Tahu hapu (sub-tribes) have with the region.
The management committee consists of representatives from Tangata Whenua and the local community who will work together to develop a management plan. Joe Sour and Tim Manawatu have been appointed as Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for the mataitai. Tangata Tiaki are appointed to authorise customary fishing within the Mataitai reserve and to make application for bylaws to the Minister of Fisheries in accordance with the plan that will be developed by the management committee.
A recent initiative in Koukourarata has been a regulatory closure for the local cockle beds, prior to the Mataitai reserve being created. The management committee for the Mataitai reserve will be able to recommend further management measures to the Minister of Fisheries for the continued sustainability of these cockle beds and other species, in a manner that is much quicker than the general regulatory rounds.
Extensive dialogue and consultation stretching over six months was undertaken by the applicants for the mataitai reserve, Te Runanga o Koukourarata, to canvass the views of the community and key interest groups.
In the meantime, the Tangata Tiaki (customary fisheries managers) at the first mataitai gazetted two years ago under the South Island customary fishing regulations at Rapaki, Banks Peninsula, have been quietly working away, progressing management goals and objectives.
Te Runanga o Te Hapu o Ngati Wheke, the tribal council at Rapaki, applied for this Mataitai reserve, which was gazetted in December 1998 after the Fisheries (South Island Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998, were promulgated.
This mataitai has two Tangata Tiaki, who authorise customary fishing authorisations and recommend bylaws for management to the Minister of Fisheries. As a result there are now bylaws for the Rapaki Mataitai which differ from the amateur fishing regulations for the same region.
These bylaws have reduced the bag limits for cockles and pipi, and prohibited the harvesting and possession of whairepo (ray species), and paua. A reporting regime of all fishing that is conducted in the Rapaki mataitai reserve has also been introduced to gain a fuller understanding of the fishing harvest.
As well as bylaws, the Tangata Tiaki have been facilitating cockle surveys to provide an information resource for the future, and stock enhancement initiatives that will benefit the local Rapaki community.
For further information please contact
Baden Vertongen or Matiu Payne at the Dunedin office of the Ministry of Fisheries on (03) 474 0333