17 Feb 2015

Kauri symposium ponders rahui

8:08 am on 17 February 2015

A government-appointed official charged with helping to tackle the kauri dieback disease says rahui could have the power to help stop it spreading further.

The idea of rahui or a ban was discussed by about a hundred people including scientists and representatives from Ngati Wai, Ngati Hine and Te Hiku o Te Ika, who attended a two day hui in Hokianga at the weekend.

The kauri dieback symposium was an opportunity for scientists and tangata whenua to share their findings about preventing the disease.

Ian Mitchell, the kauri dieback programme's relationship manager, said scientists accepted matauranga Maori is needed to try and overcome the disease.

He said that rahui appears to be more widely respected than council declared track closures, where there tended to be a group of people who did not accept track bans.

A better example, he said was when Ngati Wai issued a rahui over the Russel forest, and it met with the Department of Conservation, businesses and the community to talk about what it planned to do.

He said that appeared to be accepted by communities.

Mr Mitchell said he thought people tended to acknowledge rahui because of their cultural value and because iwi talk to the community about their plans.

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