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Matahorua returns to Raukawa moana

Matahorua returns to Raukawa moana

Hawea Tomoana at
the helm of Matahorua, DOC’s new patrol boat for the
Taputeranga Marine Reserve: Photo: DOC
Click to enlarge

Hawea Tomoana at the helm of Matahorua, DOC’s new patrol boat for the Taputeranga Marine Reserve: Photo: DOC

4 September 2008

Matahorua returns to Raukawa moana.

Matahorua has returned to Raukawa moana (Cook Strait)…

The patrol boat for the newly-established Taputeranga Marine Reserve on Wellington’s south coast has been named Matahorua, (after Kupe’s waka), to prompt memories of the exploits of Kupe, the great Polynesian explorer and his ocean going vessel.

“This is one way that pre-European history of the area can be maintained,” says Department of Conservation marine ranger Hawea Tomoana, who will be master of the boat, as he keeps a protective eye on the reserve.

Part of a team of DOC’s Poneke Area staff, which manages the 854 hectare reserve, Hawea is looking forward to getting out on the water in the new boat, which arrived this week.

Supplied by Firmans Marine in Napier, the Matahorua is a 6 metre ‘Senator’ hard top aluminium pontoon, powered by twin 100 hp 4-stroke engines. It is equipped with a GPS Chartplotter with radar overlay, davit arm (for relocating Craypots that may have “wandered” into the reserve), a capstan, maritime and DOC VHF radios and all the safety equipment required by Maritime NZ.

As part of his job Hawea will be working with Wellington’s south coast community to assist in the protection and promotion of conservation values within the reserve.

“I grew up in Wainuiomata and went gathering kaimoana with my dad, uncles and cousins from a very early age. For years we’ve been diving and fishing around Wellington’s coastline, from Turakirae to Cable bay to Boom Rock.”

“The marine reserve is essentially a rahui (restriction). Iwi understand that concept well and have used the ‘rahui’ mechanism for hundreds of years as one way of preserving kaimoana gathering sites. There are impacts of course for both people and marine life. Initially, the impacts for some people may seem negative. But in the long term, and we’re talking quite a few years here, those negative impacts are transformed to positive changes as the marine ecosystem reverts to a more natural state and kaimoana becomes more abundant.”

“The positive trade-off is that we provide an option for future generations - the ability to view an area where the marine ecosystem is in as pristine condition as it can be.”

“A single marine reserve on Wellington’s south coast may not be the answer to solving the problem of marine environment degradation and dwindling fish stocks. However, where the end goal is the restoration of both, the marine reserve is a positive start”

Find out more about the Taputeranga Marine Reserve during Conservation Week on Sunday 7 September. People involved with the reserve will be giving 15 minute talks at points along the coast between Island Bay and the Owhiro Bay visitor centre between 11.30 am and 3 pm.

For more information about theConservation Week event and the Taputeranga Marine Reserve check out DOC website www.doc.govt.nz or contact the Wellington Visitor Centre on (04) 384 7770 or e-mail wellingtonvc[at]doc.govt.nz


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