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Te Rūnanga o Awarua are progressing three mātaitai reserves around the Murihiku (Southland) coastline. Establishing the mātaitai reserves in the lower reaches of the Tautuku and Feming Rivers in the Caitlins, and in Ōtara, and Ōmāui and the subsequent management plans, and bylaws, provide a useful tool to protect and restore the health of the ecosystems and rare and endangered indigenous species which live there.

The Tautuku reserve is of key interest given the adjacent 550ha Forest & Bird Lenz Reserve covers a significant part of the catchment where research has been undertaken to help understand the importance of the freshwater fish that live there.

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