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Confusion over plan to ban access to Hawkes Bay's Lake Waikaremoana
23 June 2016

The group behind a two-day rahui aimed at stopping all activity on Lake Waikaremoana says it has yet to decide how the ban will be enforced.

Ngati Ruapani Kaumatua plans to impose the rahui on the popular northern Hawke's Bay lake on Monday and Tuesday, to coincide with the hearing of related land claims at a sitting of the Maori Land Court in Wairoa.

The rahui – banning activity on the lake and all access to it via all adjacent Maori land – was being put in place "to protect people and property during a particularly tumultuous political and socially disruptive time" for the descendents of the lake's original owners, the group said.

But the move has angered some lake users and left others confused.

"A small group shouldn't be allowed to shut everybody else out of the lake," one Hawke's Bay angler and regular Waikaremoana visitor said.

Fish & Game's eastern regional manager Andy Garrick said he had been contacted by a concerned angler seeking advice after booking accommodation at the lake this weekend. 

Fish & Game had notified Hawke's Bay angling clubs of the rahui and was concerned about potential disruption to lake users, but knew little about what was planned, Garrick said.

Wairoa District Council tourism manager Jamie-Leigh George said the council's visitor information centre had been doing what it could to advise tourists of the rahui.

Tourist numbers in the district were lower in winter but a lack of information being disseminated by the group behind the rahui was disappointing, George said.

Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger has said the rahui was not supported by the iwi.

Ngati Ruapani Kaumatua spokesman Tumanako Waiwai said the group was holding a public meeting on Sunday to explain the purpose of
the rahui and finalise details – including how it would be enforced.

"It's a big lake. We might not be able to watch the whole lake but we might just target a certain area," he said.

The group wanted to ensure the rahui caused "minimum disruption" and "we don't want to cause any trouble".

While Kruger was entitled to his view, the issue related only to descendents of the lake's original owners, not all of Tuhoe, Waiwai said.

"The position we're standing on is that we are the direct descendants of the chiefs of Lake Waikaremoana, and in 1918 there was an agreement in the Maori Land Court that 354 of our matriarchs and patriarchs were the owners of the lake."


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Blog Post Confusion over plan to ban access to Hawkes Bay's Lake Waikaremoana
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