21 May 2009

No change to Maori proposal for Otago harbour

5:00 pm on 21 May 2009

Te Runanga o Otakou will not make changes to an application for a mataitai over the Otago harbour. A final decision is awaited from the Minister of Fisheries.

Mataitai are permanent reserves created in areas of traditional importance to Maori for customary food gathering.

If the application is approved, it would be the largest mataitai in the country, prohibiting any commercial fishing or associated activities on the harbour, with some small exclusions to accommodate Port Otago.

Chairman Hoani Langsbury says all public consultation is complete and the runanga has opted not to amend its proposal in any way.

Mr Langsbury says it is now up to the minister to reach a final decision, which he understands could take three months to a year.