September 29, 2023
Ngāti Tarāwhai welcomes MPI decision to temporary close Lake Ōkataina
PR: Ngāti Tarāwhai welcomes MPI decision to temporary close Lake Ōkataina
The MPI’s decision to temporarily close Lake Ōkataina is welcomed by the Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust as a step in the right direction
“We are thrilled that MPI gave our request to temporarily close Lake Ōkataina serious consideration, as this allows us to concentrate on cooperating to stop the invasive species of golden clam from entering our priceless cultural heritage,” says Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust, Chairperson Cyrus Hingston.
“We look forward to working with MPI on the temporary biosecurity rules for Lake Ōkataina as part of a bigger preventative strategy because we are confident that we can come up with effective solutions that will safeguard our lake,” says Mr Hingston.
“Ngāti Tarāwhai simply wanted to activate the Controlled Area Notice (Can) under the Biosecurity Act to temporarily close the lake in order to make it very clear that we do not want an environmental catastrophe similar to the one occurring in our historic forests nearby because of Wallabies,” he says.
“The time to act is now and while we have received threats from a small number of people who seem to think that the right to fish outweighs and overrides any legitimate environmental concerns we have. After all, if these Golden Clams get into our taonga, they’ll have a long-term destructive impact on fishing and everything else we hold dear about Lake Ōkataina.”
“While research from abroad indicates that the golden clam eradication has not been achieved, we are hopeful that our collaborative efforts between iwi and the Crown will lead to the implementation of effective preventative strategies.”