August 27, 2021
Kaimoana eases hunger as lockdown stretches
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi says customary fishing rights are what are sustaining many rural Māori through the lockdown.
The ACT Party is questioning the exemption for Māori customary fishing in the rules for alert level 4, saying identity politics is being allowed to trump a united human response against a virus.
The Waiariki MP, who lives near East Cape, says his neighbours are out gathering kaimoana and fishing from the shore.
"We don't have supermarkets. We live two hours from the nearest one so when you have low income families in the rural community, if it wasn't level four or level one or level anything they would be living off the land anyway, so we have seen the provision in the legislation under the lockdown level four under our customary rights we are still able to gather kaimoana to feed our family," Mr Waititi says.
Hapū have also designated essential workers who catch and distribute kaimoana to pākeke and other community members.
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