In the Te Whānau-ā-Apanui tribal area the whai (stingray) is seen as a kaitiaki (guardian), which protects the areas where shellfish are harvested. It was believed that if people followed the right tikanga (customary practices), the stingray would ensure there were plenty of shellfish.
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Reference: Te Wharekura 48. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd, 1995.
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