Te Huka o Te Tai Highlights


Te Huka o Te Tai Research area covers the coastal area from Potikirua to Whangaokena, extending three nautical miles out to sea. It includes Te Whānau a Tapaeururangi, Ngāi Tuere, Te Whānau a Tuwhakairiora, Te Whānau a Te Aotaki, Te Whānau a Kahu, Ngāi Tamakoro, Te Whānau a Hunaara, Te Whānau a Hinerupe, Te Whānau a Tarahauiti, Te Whānau a Te Aopare, Te Whānau a Te Aotaihi.

This part of the takutai is characterized by high wave exposure, rocky reefs, and sediment deposited into two bays (Wharekahika and Te Araroa) from the Wharekahika, Karakatuwhero, Awatere, and Waiapu rivers.

The current work has involved targeted kōrero, hui wānanga and a re-survey of the takutai to bring together mātauranga and science-based approaches to understand the current state, risks and opportunities for the takutai moana, a hapū-led vision for the takutai, and potential ways of achieving that vision. This included building greater understanding of the way climate change affects the takutai and methods that could help mitigate those effects and create wider benefits.

The wānanga produced several key insights within a fulsome discussion. Keen insights and directives were:

  • There was widespread agreement that kaimoana was once much more abundant than today. 
  • A decline in both the stocks and size of kaimoana species has been observed, and most cited reasons for this included overfishing, pollution from sediment, and not basing activities around tikanga. 
  • There was consensus on the vision for the takutai; that it should be a place of abundance once again, 
  • that hapū should have mana motuhake (self-determination) for their respective areas, and that there is resourced, hapū-led management of activities in the takutai.

Highlights in relation to our research included:

  • Research was significantly impacted In 2023, the East Coast was hit with several severe storms including Cyclone Gabrielle. This disrupted the lives and work of whānau across the rohenga, including this area of takutai. Impacts from flooding, woody debris, closed roads and damaged bridges. As a result this report was delayed in its production and was given an extension to June 2024. The fact that the project could be completed at all is an important milestone and a testament to the resilience of the haukaenga involved in the project.
  • The project included twelve interviews with rangatahi who live in the Matakāoa region. These interviews moved fluidly between reo Māori and English and focused on their thoughts and feelings about the takutai moana. These rangatahi expressed strong positive feelings about the takutai as a place for healing, happiness and relaxation. Like the older generations at the wānanga they were concerned about the disappearance of kaimoana, and also the accumulation of rubbish. They hoped that they could continue to play, swim, collect kai and spend time with their whanau in the takutai, and not have to worry about pollution