20 Dec 2011

Rahui on Tauranga coast lifted

7:57 am on 20 December 2011

A cultural ban on collecting potentially contaminated seafood near the stricken ship Rena has been lifted.

The rahui has been in place since the container vessel ran aground on Astrolabe Reef on 5 October, spilling oil along the Bay of Plenty coastline.

The Tauranga Moana Iwi Customary Fisheries Trust says the water quality has improved and with the salvage efforts continuing, it was appropriate to lift the ban.

Chairman Penetaka Dickson says people should still be careful if they're catching fish or collecting seafood and if there is any hint of a chemical smell the fish should not be eaten.

Meanwhile a health warning on collecting shellfish from Tairua in the Coromandel to Pukehina in Western Bay of Plenty is still in place.