Kanakana monitoring

Over the past few years large numbers of lamprey (also known as kanakana and piharau) have been found dead or dying with unusual red skin markings and hemorrhaging. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) carried out some initial testing and found evidence of bacterial infection in certain samples however, the root cause of this problem has not yet been established.

To assist with the research into the disease affecting this treasured mahinga kai species, Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka ran a kanakana monitoring programme last year under the guidance of Doctor Jane Kitson. The monitoring programme will run again this year and is due to start once the rivers settle down from their current flood state.

We are also looking at doing various other water monitoring projects over the summer, so if you would like to assist with any of this valuable research projects, please contact us here at the office.

During the whitebait season it would be appreciated if you could let us know of any kanakana that you net and the condition that they are in.

Administrative professional day

Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka staff were privileged to attend the administrative professionals day held at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill.

The day consists of a luncheon and a celebrity guest speaker. Previous years have seen the likes of Kevin Biggar of First Crossings fame and Robyn Malcolm. This year’s speaker was none other than celebrity chef, Josh Emmett.

For many years, Josh worked for Gordon Ramsay and it was extremely interesting to hear about that part of his life. It was incredible to hear of the massive amount of hours, sheer hard work, attention to detail and sacrifices that he made to get to this point of his life. He was a truly inspirational speaker and took the time to walk round the tables speaking to as many people as he could. Josh also proved to be a massive hit with certain lady members of the audience.

From left, Ann Wakefield, Josh Emmett, Lynley McKay and Iain MacCallum.

From left, Ann Wakefield, Josh Emmett, Lynley McKay and Iain MacCallum.

Waka ama

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama recently attended the Icebreaker Competition held on Dunedin Harbour during Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

This proved to be a very successful trip as the waka ama women’s novice team came first in the 10km icebreaker event.

On the Thursday, prior to the competition, the group were fortunate enough to have Conan Herbert and his team from Ngā Kaihoe Waka Ama National body come down to Murihiku to facilitate flip and float tipping drills at Splash Palace in Invercargill. This quality training was excellent as it boosted the crew’s confidence and added valuable expertise to their skill set.

Also in attendance at the Icebreaker Competition was Te Piritahi a rua (mixed crew) and Kahungunu whānau (men’s crew) both from Invercargill who both also won their respective races.

It was awesome to see such strong representation from the deep south. Collectively all the deep south crews worked together and supported each other in the lead-up to the event and on race day. A big thank you to everybody involved in this great event. Nā Karina Davis- Marsden.

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama rōpū out on the water.

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama rōpū out on the water.

Ready, set, go.

Ready, set, go.


We are always looking for volunteers to help out with our varied projects and commitments. There is a range of roles we need help with including; representation on boards or appointment panels, helping with bird transfers, assisting at the marae, working in the nursery or the wetlands and many more. If you are keen to play a more active role within the rūnaka please contact us here at the office to discuss the options.


We welcome contributions from whānau for Te Pānui Rūnaka. If you wish to contribute please send your news and stories to us at [email protected] or phone 03 234 8192. We also now have an 0800 number: 0800 234 8192.