Published on 20 January 2023
A rāhui was implemented over Ōpoutere Beach, the Wharekawa Harbour and River on Thursday 19 January following a drowning, and a search for a missing person near the coastal settlement on Wednesday 18 January.
Kaumatua (elders) say the rāhui places a restriction on recreational activities, such as fishing, shellfish collection, swimming, surfing and boating at the beach, on the harbour and river. The restrictions will be in place until further notice.
A kaumatua performed the ceremony at Ōpoutere Beach, with those attending including Mayor Len Salt as well as our Council’s Cultural Navigator Frank Thorne.
A rāhui (physical and spiritual protection mechanism) sets a temporary prohibition around the rāhui area and limits access or activities for that period in order to acknowledge the death and to express sympathy to the whānau of the deceased.
It provides time for tapu (sacredness) to dissipate following the fatalities, allowing time for healing and recovery of the natural elements at place as well as the people - in particular, the grieving whānau.
Karakia (prayers) were also performed on Thursday at the point near Ōtahu Estuary in Whangamatā and at Whangamatā Surf Club where there was a drowning on Tuesday night.
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