October 20, 2023
Tourists ignore Hahei rahui
A rahui over Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula has been lifted because it was being ignored – and iwi don’t want to be held responsible if something goes wrong at the internationally-acclaimed tourist attraction.
The rahui was imposed after the Department of Conservation track to the beach from Hahei remains closed because of the instability of the hillside.
Ngati Hei Kaumatua Joe Davis says was rocks the size of kayaks fell onto the beach during storms in January and February, and they continue to fall from the distinctive rock arch.
The only legal access was by sea, but people push past physical barriers to climb down the hillside.
“Our international visitors, first of all they don’t know what a rahui is and they don’t understand the way we do things here in New Zealand. They think it’
s open slather and they can go down there and do what they like and get that selfie shot down there and they’re prepared to walk through barriers, not bother to read the signs and take heed of the warnings,” Mr Davis says.
The arch remains highly dangerous and is best kept closed until an engineering solution can be found.