Native Affairs - MPI agrees to save pāua

A collective agreement to save parts of the Kaikōura ecology, including the relocation of thousands of stranded pāua has been reached.

At a hui on Takahanga Marae this morning, where members of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, the Kaikōura commercial paua industry and volunteers from the Kaikōura Pāua rescue crew were given a “one-off” offer from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).

MPI’s Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton proposed a limited zone be setup and determined by all groups as part of the government’s $2mil science programme for Kaikoura’s earthquake recovery.

Dalton says, “This is the proposal, it’s a once only offer. We’ve got to agree it’s a common sense approach.”  

The proposal follows a six-hour scientific assessment carried out around Goose Bay where paua volunteers have successfully relocated 10 tonne of stranded pāua.

MPI scientist Shelton Harley reported there has been a massive change to the ecology and surrounding reefs.

“This stuff is new, this stuff is unprecedented,” he said.

All groups unanimously agreed on the proposal and decided the area of focus will be Omihi near Goosebay – a sight of cultural significance to mana whenua Kāti Kuri.

Kaikōura Pāua rescue crew leader Mike Vincent told Native Affairs, “It’s a step forward in the right direction.”

“It’s better than nothing,” he said.

The proposal is expected to be signed-off by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy later this afternoon.