July 21, 2017
Legislate to save tuna
Tuna is on the decline, that's the message from experts presenting at the National Maori Tuna Conference at Whanganui this week.
Hosted by Te Wai Maori Trust the conference heard from iwi and hapu as well as Pakeha scientists.
Trust chair Ken Mair says the decline of tuna is due to a number of factors, pollution of waterways, destruction of habitat and climate change
"Our experts on the ground are saying there is a decline in tuna whether people like it or not. That message is coming across from some scientists and certainly some from within government agencies. We need to sit down work collaboratively together and find solutions in regard to ensuring the health and well-being of tuna," he says.
Ken Mair says part of the solution lies in whakaturetanga, protecting tuna under legislation
"Our tupuna our ancestors held tuna in the highest order and tuna is part of our whakapapa, part of our stories and part of our waiata and our carvings and therefore tuna has it's own status and personality in it's own right,"he says.
It's not the first time Whanganui iwi have sought legislation of this kind. They were successful in getting the Whanganui River recognised as its own entity.
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