Poutini moana, Poutini whenua
|Waewae and Makaawhio, together as Poutini Ngai Tahu, pose on the beach after the official opening - with the 'Punakaiki' driftwood sign erected specially for the occasion, in the background, right alongside the start of the Pancake Rocks.|
Today marks the official opening of five marine reserves along Te Tai o Poutini - 160 square kilometres of inland coastal seashore, permanently protected by the government in a similar way to scenic reserves on land.
To mark the occasion, Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae and Te Runanga o Makaawhio came together as one as Poutini Ngai Tahu, to help with the launch by the Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith, with a representative 'unveiling' at Punakaiki this morning.
During the powhiri, the Department of Conservation presented each runanga with ataahua, large framed photographs - Okarito Lagoon for Makaawhio, and the Punakaiki coast for Waewae.
The marine reserves are: Kahurangi and Punakaiki in Waewae rohe, and in Makaawhio rohe, Waiau-Okarito, Tauparikaka and Hautai.
|Makaawhio Tumuaki Susan Wallace, with DOC South Westland manager Jo Macpherson, alongside the marine reserve marker post erected at Punakaiki. Similar posts have been erected at all five reserves.|