5 Dec 2013

Tauranga iwi still wary of kaimoana despite recent Rena report

6:43 am on 5 December 2013

A hapu on Motiti Island off the Tauranga coast is still reluctant to collect seafood for Christmas in the area despite a recent report saying it's now safe to eat kaimoana.

A new environmental study of the impact of the grounding of the container ship Rena shows there were few long-lasting impacts.

But it says the environment has not returned to its pre-Rena state.

The Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef on 5 October, 2011, leaking more than 350 tonnes of oil into the ocean, coating beaches and wildlife.

The sub-tribal representative of Ngai Te Hapu from Motiti Island, Buddy Mikaere, says Maori there still don't feel safe about eating kaimoana from their coastline.

He says at the moment iwi don't have much confidence in the latest reports about the condition of marine life in the waters around Motiti Island and the Astrolabe Reef.

Mr Mikaere says many local whanau still aren't eating seafood from those areas unless it's from the southern end of Motiti Island.

With Christmas coming, he says it is going to be a shame that many whanau won't be able to collect kaimoana like they once did to cater for their visitors.