The Waikato and Waipa Rivers have been declared off limits during Level 3 of the Covid-19 emergency, prohibiting food gathering and all recreational activities on the waterways..
Elsewhere around the country people have been barred from going to some beaches by vigilante groups who set up checkpoints to impede the public.
In the case of the two rivers, the prohibition has been imposed by a former truck driver who now rejoices in the title of Māori King Tuheitia.
He has declared the rivers are subject to a rahui, a cultural and spiritual prohibition. It came into effect on Monday.
The king’s authority to make a rahui binding on anyone who feels they should not be constrained by it is dubious.
Point of Order hoped Local Government New Zealand would guide us on King Tuheitia’s entitlement to bar people from swimming or fishing in the rivers or boating on them. Continue reading “Maori monarch flexes muscle to make waterways off-limits but we may muse on the matter of legality”