April 16, 2020
Fishing ban upsets iwi
Northland iwi leaders say the ban on non-essential fishing activities went too far by interfering with customary fishing practices.
Harry Burkhardt from Ngāti Kuri says while the collective accepts concerns about potential accidents leading to emergency service call-outs, the government failed to properly consult with iwi about the move.
He says at times kaimoana gathering has been the only food source for many whānau.
It is impossible to gather kaimoana using the same social distancing and personal hygiene practices used in visiting any supermarket.
He says the ban risks criminalising Māori going to get kai.
The iwi collective, Te Kahu o Taonui, is calling on the Government to modify the current fishing restrictions and to class ‘customary’ fishing as ‘essential work’ with the provision that it be limited to shore fishing and kaimoana gathering.
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