by Steffan Browning
The announcement yesterday of an extension for two more years of the rahui over Kaikoura’s Wakatu Quay marine area is a positive move towards long term sustainable management of Kaikoura’s coastal marine area, and more of New Zealand’s coast becoming marine reserves.
Rahui and marine reserves assist recovery of depleted fisheries and contribute to education, research and biodiversity.
The Kaikoura community’s approach to marine management, Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura, is a good example to be extended throughout New Zealand. Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura is a stakeholders group that is well advanced developing an agreed protection and management plan for the Kaikōura coastal area. It considers the needs of conservation, and tourism, fisheries and recreational users.
This extension of the rahui over the Wakatu Quay area shows the potential of community collaboration in achieving practical marine management outcomes as intended by Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura. While a small area, Wakatu Quay shows the preparedness of the Ministry of Primary Industries and Te Runanga o Kaikoura to achieve a long term outcome in Te Korowai which is close to resolution.
Te Runanga o Kaikoura have contributed to the concept by maintaining this rahui over an area of customary use for several years.
New Zealand fisheries and marine biodiversity urgently needs improved urgent habitat protection and restoration.