Minister supports rähui at Mt Maunganui
Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton has agreed to renew the temporary closure of green-lipped mussel beds between Moturiki and Motuotau Islands at Mt Maunganui for a further 15 months. This provides statutory support for a local traditional rähui over the area.
“The mussel beds are an important customary resource for the people of Ngäiterangi, Ngatï Ranginui and Ngatï Pukenga” Jim Anderton says. “These beds have become depleted in recent years, and this has affected the ability of tangata whenua to take these shellfish for customary purposes.”
The first closure on taking green-lipped mussels from these beds ran from July 2002 to July 2004. This closure was then renewed through until July 2006.
However, the mussel beds at Mt Maunganui have still not recovered to a level where harvest would be sustainable. So the Tauranga Moana Customary Fisheries Management Committee (representing the iwi of Ngäiterangi, Ngatï Ranginui and Ngatï Pukenga) extended their traditional rähui and asked the Minister of Fisheries to renew the temporary closure under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996.
The Minister of Fisheries agreed to the renewal, so providing statutory support for the rähui. The renewal will ensure green-lipped mussel beds between Moturiki and Motuotau Islands remain closed until 18 October 2007.
Prior to the first closure in 2002, available information indicated that the mussel beds were under significant harvesting pressure and that the resource was depleted. This pressure was due to the resource being well known in the region as readily accessible (the region is a popular holiday destination with a large resident population, and there are no alternative mussel beds in the area).
In April 2006, the iwi asked for a further renewal as recent dive inspections by iwi members had shown that mussels on ‘Wedding Cake’ rock had still not replenished to a point where the iwi would feel comfortable opening the area to harvesting.
During its public consultation, the Ministry found a high level of community support for the renewal request
For further information, phone Jim Anderton on 021 777 680
Or Sally Griffin on 04 471 9936, cell 021 224 5584