14 Nov 2015

Marae calls for total ban to protect pipi beds

9:59 am on 14 November 2015

A Northland marae is urging the public to back a total ban on taking shellfish from the Ngunguru River.

Ngunguru estuary

Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Pipi beds in the estuary suffered a massive die-back last autumn, and the Ngunguru marae is about to place a rahui - or restricted access - on the area.

Ngunguru estuary

Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Spokeswoman Paulette Wellington said the Ministry for Primary Industries was suggesting the closure of part of the river till the beds recovered.

But there were pipi beds lying just outside the proposed no-take zone, and a wider ban would be easier to police, Ms Wellington said.

"I would recommend that people ask for the whole of the river to be closed, for pipis, cockles and tuatua to avoid any confusion."

People can support the campaign to save the Ngunguru pipi beds by writing a submission to the Ministry for Primary Industries.