17 Aug 2012

New mataitai reserves to protect kai moana

6:34 pm on 17 August 2012

Five new mataitai reserves have been established to help Maori in those areas exercise their customary rights to gather food from the waterways.

Mataitai reserves can be formed on traditional fishing grounds which are of significance to local Maori.

Three of the new reserves - announced by the Primary Industries Ministry on Thursday - are on the Mahia Peninsula, on the North Island's east coast.

Two are on the northern side of the peninsula, and the other is on the southern side.

The other two reserves are in the South Island.

One is north of Franz Josef and encompasses the Okarito Lagoon and the coast at the entrance to the lagoon, and Lake Windermere.

The other is north-east of Waimate.

It includes the Wainono Lagoon, and all parts of the Waihao River, the Waituna Stream and the Hook River that are east of state highway one.

The reserve status does not prevent recreational fishing or public access to beaches, rivers or reserves, but it does prohibit commercial fishing.

There are now 29 mataitai reserves throughout the country - the five new ones take effect in mid-September.