Ngāti Awa Rāhui update


Status: For immediate release

Date: 18 December 2019

Subject:Ngāti Awa Rāhui Update

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa advises the rāhui (temporary ritual prohibition) placed over the Ngāti Awa customary coastal marine area for fishing and gathering kaimoana (seafood) remains in place until further notice.

A total rāhui (gathering kaimoana, fishing and maritime activities) was applied by Ngāti Awa kaumātua last week out of respect for those who perished in last Monday’s Whakaari tragedy, and those who were unaccounted for and could be in the ocean.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Chair and Ngāti Awa cultural expert Dr Hohepa Mason says because two victims are still unaccounted for and are possibly in the ocean the rāhui on fishing and gathering kaimoana remains.

“Out of continued respect for those yet to be returned to their loved ones, and the cultural implications around the likely presence of tūpāpaku (deceased) in the moana (ocean), the Ngāti Awa rāhui in our rohe (Ngāti Awa tribal boundary) on collecting kaimoana and fishing will remain in place until further notice”.

Other maritime activities (swimming, kayaking and boating) not related to kaimoana gathering and fishing would be permissible after 11am on Friday 20 December.

There is no change to the rāhui status of Te Puia Whakaari (Whakaari/White Island), with Dr Mason stressing the island remains completely out of bounds. “Whakaari remains under rāhui and should be respectfully avoided at this time”.

Dr Mason says Ngāti Awa acknowledge that while this is a traditional time of the year for fishing and gathering kaimoana (seafood), the iwi (tribe) respectfully ask for the continued adherence to the kaimoana rāhui in the rohe of Ngāti Awa and the rāhui over Whakaari.

“The general public and manuhiri (visitors) have been very respectful of our rāhui and we appreciate their dedicated observance of this Ngāti Awa tikanga”.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa will make further updates on the rāhui if there are any changes to the current situation.



– The Ngāti Awa kaimoana gathering and fishing rāhui remains in place until further notice

– Although the taking of any seafood – including fish – from anywhere within the Ngāti Awa rāhui boundary remains prohibited until further notice,  activities not related to the harvesting of seafood – including swimming, kayaking and boating – will be permissible from 11am Friday 20 December.

-Te Puia Whakaari (Whakaari/White Island), remains under strict rāhui and should be respectfully avoided.

-The boundary of the Ngāti Awa kaimoana and fishing rāhui is from the Tarawera River in the west, to Ōhiwa in the east and includes Te Puia Whakaari,   Rurima and Moutohorā Islands.

-Neighbouring coastal hapū and iwi have also applied their own rāhui over their own customary marine areas. Those iwi will be responsible for   administering their rāhui.

-Ngāti Awa are grateful for the respect that has been afforded to the rāhui to date.


William Stewart

Mauriora Marketing and PR Ltd
(021) 220 8015