View across Ōpoutere Estuary
Image: Shellie Evans | ©

Introduction

A rāhui has been placed over Ōpoutere Beach, the Wharekawa Harbour and Wharekawa River following a drowning and missing person search.

Date:  20 January 2023

A rāhui has been implemented over Ōpoutere Beach, the Wharekawa Harbour and Wharekawa River following a drowning, and a missing person search near the coastal settlement on Wednesday, 18 January.

Kaumātua emphasise the rāhui places a restriction on recreational activities such as fishing, shellfish collection, swimming, surfing and boating at the beach and on the harbour and river.

The rāhui will be in place until further notice.

A rāhui (physical and spiritual protection mechanism) sets a temporary prohibition around the rāhui area and limits access or activities for that period to acknowledge the death and 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. 

DOC staff continue to work closely with kaumatua throughout this process.

There was a drowning near Ōtahu Estuary in Whangamatā on Tuesday night, and today karakia were also performed at the point and Whangamatā Surf Club.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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