Story: Mātaitai – shellfish gathering

Toheroa open day

Toheroa open day

In the mid-1900s there were significant toheroa populations which were extensively harvested both recreationally and for sale. However, they underwent a massive decline, leading to a total ban apart from the occasional open day. These harvesters were searching for their limit of 10 on an open day. By the 2000s, even these opportunities had ceased and the only harvesting was strictly controlled by tangata whenua (local Māori).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1969/4132A/36
Photograph by Craig Simcox

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mere Whaanga, 'Mātaitai – shellfish gathering - Mussels, oysters, toheroa and other species', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 May 2021)

Story by Mere Whaanga, published 12 Jun 2006