25 Aug 2010

Iwi refuses post mortems on beached whales

3:35 pm on 25 August 2010

A Far North iwi has refused to allow post-mortems on a pod of pilot whales that beached on the Karikari peninsula during the weekend.

Alan Hetaraka, kaumatua for Te Whanau Moana and Te Rorohuri hapu, says scientists can take DNA from the whales but the hapu does not want the mammals butchered.

"Out of respect to our whanau tohora we should intern them without any further disruption to them and treat them like our whanau, of course they are, so we disallowed any dismembering of the animals," he told Waatea News

Mr Hetaraka, a former marine biologist, says iwi members were upset by the actions of the scientists who simply seemed intent on collecting their samples.