Moko to return to Matakana
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA decision has been made that Moko’s remains will be returned to Matakana Island, and buried on the shore that his body came to rest.
Date: 14 July 2010
A decision has been made that Moko’s remains will be returned to Matakana Island, and buried on the shore that his body came to rest.
“Given that Moko washed up on the shores of Matakana, we have been guided by Ngai te Rangi who have kaitiaki (guardianship) status for the island to come to this decision. This is also consistent with our policy that local iwi have access to the remains of stranded marine mammals if they want it,” says Department of Conservation Tauranga Area Manager, Andrew Baucke. “Ngai te Rangi have assured us that they have considered interests from the iwi and communities of Whakatane, Gisborne and Mahia in coming to their decision.”
“Moko will travel via Whakatane where all are invited to attend a memorial service for him at Mataatua Reserve, Wairaka near the Whakatane river mouth. We hope that the iwi and community of Mahia will also be able to participate in putting Moko to rest.” says DOC spokesperson, Katrina Knill.
Ms Knill also advises that tissue analysis for the post mortem report is still being worked through and that she hopes to have an expected date for the final report by the end of today, however DNA results could be a couple of months away. “A sample of Moko’s DNA, collected in May is currently being processed by Auckland University staff in preparation for comparison with that of the carcass. Unfortunately due to the small sample size, this process will be more complex than originally anticipated and it may be as long as eight weeks before DNA results are available”.
Exact timing, details and other preparations for the memorial and burial will be determined over the next few days; “we’ll continue to keep people informed as information is available.” says Ms Knill.
Moko found dead on Matakana Island 8 July 2010
Moko removed from Matakana 8 July 2010
Moko at Massey 9 July 2010
DOC awaits Moko post mortem 12 July 2010
For more information about Moko:
Community Relations Programme Manager, Tauranga Area Office
Ph: +64 7 571 2737