Cultural mapping hui

He mihi kau atu ki a Takerei Rongopatahi Norton mō wāna mahi papai rawa atu hai whakahaere te hui e pā ana ki kā ikoa wāhi o te takiwā o Wairewa. After a long wait, we finally got Takerei Norton to bring his cultural mapping work out home on a Sunday in April.

With over 30 participants it was a learning and thoroughly enjoyable experience. The work that the cultural mapping team has completed so far is a taoka for the iwi, and for the whole of Aotearoa. If we stop using these names or seeing these names in the landscape, they will be lost for ever.

Tuna Season 2016

At a recent Tangata Tiaki hui held at Wairewa Marae on March 30, the 2016 tuna season was discussed, along with the kawa, which has caused some issues among some fishers. At the start of the year the Wairewa Tangata Tiaki discussed the new kawa for the season and this was to be presented at a meeting held on the 28 January at Wairewa Marae. This was emailed to Wairewa Rūnanga members and rūnanga the week previously. Only two people were in attendance. As a result of this, the kawa was printed in Te Pānui Rūnaka for everyone to see.

These consultation hui are not compulsory, but are held so all fishers are aware of the issues and the kawa for that season. Kāti Irakehu and Kāti Makō are the Kaitiaki of the roto and we have the mana to set the kawa for the season through the Wairewa Tangata Tiaki. Te Roto o Wairewa is the only Ngāi Tahu customary lake and also has a mātaitai across it. Wairewa as kaitiaki have taken responsibility to mend and protect the fishery on behalf of us and the iwi. This has had a significant cost and we haven’t finished yet, and most importantly protecting and restoring the fishery is a matter of our mana and is all about kaitiakitaka and manaakitaka.

This year the Tangata Tiaki decided it would be 200 tuna per fisher for the year as this is more than adequate for whānau sustenance and there was also a provision for more but it had a process, which whānau understood and complied with. We had whānau come from near and far to continue the mahika kai practice of hao tuna, with Franklin Robinson and George Skipper’s, tamariki and mokopuna continuing this practice and preserving for the next generation.

The algal bloom was quite severe in the drains and in the lake around Birdlings Flat this year, and it was decided to close down the season and issue no authorisations from 31 March 2016.

Lake opening and bridge consent

As joint applicants with the Christchurch City Council, we have recently been granted resource consent to continue use of the canal for the opening of the lake and to construct a bridge for local residents to continue access across the canal. The canal was established in 2009 as a means to better control lake levels and improve the passage of important taoka species, with the hope that the greater control would lead to a healthier lake. No appeals were received on the hearing decision for these applications, which gives us confidence moving forward to lodge a building consent for the bridge.

It is important to recognise the partnership between iwi and local government and the resulting achievement of the parties. We now need to incorporate central government into the partnership and recognise such an achievement by vesting the bed of the lake in the hapū. It would be inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to not let us manage our taoka for us and children after us.