June Hui-a-marama advertised in the local papers for apopo (13 June 2021) has been postponed due to several tangi being on this weekend. Please await the new date. The agenda includes discussion of withdrawal of Ngai Tamahaua Hapu interests in the WMTB.
Tsunami alert issued after 8 magnatude earthquake at Rangitahua (Kermadecs). Waves arriving now at Hawai – 10:30am.
Reports of traffic chaos in town earlier. Please take care.
Opape whanau your evacuation safe place is Opape Marae – go there now.
Report from Mayor that town is successfully evacuated (see photo below).
NZ govt Civil Defence to hold press conference at Beehive at 11:30am.
Awa rivers warning to whanau: surges up rivers are usual part of tsunami scenario so please do not go onto or near the rivers which could be affected by a wave surge even if they are far inland!
Confirmed Opape Marae is open and receiving evacuated people. Thanks aunty Flo!
Beehive press conference underway.
Civil Defence Minister Kiritapu Allan says evacuated people are instructed to wait for official all clear to return to lower ground – recommend listen to radio for all clear.
Reports are Woodlands Hall is open and receiving evacuated people.
Video online of foaming tsunami surging at Tokomaru Bay (pic below).
Louis Rapihana reported observing same thing at Hawai about 10:30am ongoing.
Video online of Opotiki wharf showing water level is very high, less than 10cm to overtop lower jetty and carpark (see pictures below).
Whanau reminded to keep away from rivers and river flood areas as surge waves can be expected up all rivers connected to the sea – so Pakihikura harbour, Otara and Waioweka rivers, Kukumoa stream, Te Houhi stream, Waiotahe river, Waiaua River, Tirohanga waterways, Opape stream.
RNZ reporting GNS Science assessed no land threat so evacuated people may return to lower areas. Marine and river waterways alert remains.
From Twitter feed of Kiri Allan:
Kiri Allan @KiriAllan
1:15pm UPDATE GNS Science has advised that the largest waves have now passed, and therefore the threat level is now downgraded to a Beach and Marine threat for all areas which were previously under Land and Marine threat. All people who evacuated can now return.
Kiri Allan @KiriAllan
The advice remains, for all areas under Beach and Marine threat, to stay off beach and shore areas.
“ALL CLEAR” to return has been given. Alert notice on mobile phone system advising at 1:30pm emergency evacuation of land area is over, safe to return. Beach and Marine advisory continues.
Hapu kaimahi taiao advises beach and marine caution applies for Opotiki rivers and lower lying waterways.
Pictures from pilot Terry Rogers above evacuation places of Opeke Marae, Waioweka and Woodlands Hall – Woodlands/Akatarere School at Hikutaia earlier today as below. Scores of vehicles parked both sides of road around both locations.
Coast alert advisory for Opotiki is lifted as per NEMA panui in last half hour as below from Twitter:
National Emergency Management Agency
The tsunami threat to New Zealand has been further downgraded.
AREAS UNDER BEACH AND MARINE THREAT: The North Cape from AHIPARA to the BAY OF ISLANDS, the East Coast of the North Island from CAPE RUNAWAY to TOLAGA BAY, and GREAT BARRIER ISLAND, and the CHATHAM ISLANDS. There is no tsunami threat in all other areas.
Please be advised our Ngai Tamahaua Hapu Hui-a-marama originally scheduled for 7 February has been cancelled due to the unavailability of whanau during Waitangi Day weekend. The next Hapu Hui will be first Sunday in March as normal: 7 March 2021.
OPOTIKI JET SKI FATALITY – HAPU CONCERNED WITH RIVER SAFETY
“My profound sympathy and aroha are extended to the family of the young man who died at Opotiki on the Otara river at the New Year. I acknowledge and thank the kaumatua responsible for initiating and lifting the rahui which was placed on the Otara river to ensure the safety of the people and the area known to us as Oama following the tragic death of the jet skiier on 2 January 2021,” said Peter Selwyn, Chair of Ngai Tamahaua Hapu.
Mr Selwyn was anxious to quell speculation following the initial report of the fatality in the Opotiki News of 7 January 2021. No account of the incident or naming of the deceased has been published on the NZ Police website, despite that being normal practice, fuelling local rumours. A Hapu representative has since confirmed with the Sergeant at Opotiki police station that there appeared to be no unusual circumstances surrounding the death and the removal of the deceased was without incident.
Mr Selwyn said: “This unfortunate incident is a reminder to us all to be mindful of the dynamic environment of our rivers and harbours and to approach swimming, boating and fishing with caution as to conditions and awareness of other users.”
“Whilst the Hapu does not agree with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in their assertion of management over our waterways – and the current exemption of speed restrictions on the adjoining Waioweka river – the basics of their safety bylaw applying to the Otara river and the harbour are not disputed: keep to a maximum of 5 knots (10 km/h) on rivers and the harbour.”
“I would like to thank the public for their observation of the rahui. A notice was originally posted to Facebook – and then a panui on our Hapu website. The several Hapu of Whakatohea having kaitiakitanga responsibilities for our awa and harbour will probably have to co-ordinate more formally in future so rahui tohu/panui (markers/signage) are immediately put up at entry points to alert those such as myself who are not on social media.”
“The Otara river is only partially navigable with shallow rapids, sharp bends and midstream bars and beaches of shingle which can move after floods. Whitebaiters and eelers with hinaki (traps) and herring netters as well as trout anglers and swimmers are regular users of the river which make it unsuitable for powered craft such as jet skis and jet boats.”
“Even the most experienced of us can be caught off guard in an instant – with terrible consequences. The coronial process is underway which prevents a definitive conclusion on all the facts at this time. The Hapu will be interested in the outcome and any recommendations the coroner may make. Ka arohanui to the whanau pani – my sincerest condolences to the bereaved family.”
BACKGROUND: The Otara river’s full name is Te Awa o Tarawa – the river of Tarawa. The traditional Whakatohea tribal legend says he arrived from Hawaiiki on his chest upon a barge board landing at Waiotahe beach below Paerata – just West of the Pakihikura (Opotiki harbour mouth). He then ventured up the river that bears his name. One of his mokos (grandchildren) was Tamahaua. Tamahaua was also a prominent descendant some eight generations down from Muriwai, the ancestress of the Whakatohea Iwi. The Hapu of Ngai Tamahaua thus descend from both epynomous tipuna (named ancestors) and maintain mana whenua over those related areas. [Sources: Ranginui Walker ‘Opotiki Capital of Whakatohea’, and Alf Lyall ‘Whakatohea of Opotiki’]
Karakia have been performed at Otara River at Ford St on 2 January 2021 following the tragic death of a whanau member in connection with a jet ski incident in the vicinity. Details have not been released by NZ Police and Hapu representatives remain concerned at the unclear circumstances which the coroner will investigate.
Ka arohanui to the whanau pani who have not been named at this time.
Advice is to refrain from activities on the Otara until the situation is clarified.
UPDATE: NZ Police at Opotiki station have confirmed no unusual circumstances and removal of deceased was without incident. Rahui karakia were completed following the nehu. Otara river is OPEN to normal activities. PLEASE KEEP SPEED BELOW 5 KNOTS WHEN NAVIGATING RIVERS AND THE HARBOUR IN POWERED CRAFT. [19/01/2021]
Panui for 25/08/2020, Day 14 of the covid-19 re-emergence:
1. 7 new cases in last 24 hours All Akld August cluster, 110 Akl cluster total (89 quarantined/21 isolated) + 22 deaths + 8 hospitalised (3 in ICU) + 129 active cases + 1,339 confirmed total. —NZ Ministry of Health.
2. Face masks compulsory on all public transport from next week. Akl to move from Level 3 to 2 on 30/08/2020. — NZ Govt.