This is a Maori customary management term with a variety of definitions, but in the context of marine resource protection a rahui usually means a temporary tapu or restriction of access imposed by the kaitiaki for that area. They can be enforced through a Gazette Notice made under s.186A of the Fisheries Act which can apply to specified species or specified methods, for up to two years at a time, and the restrictions apply to all persons.
There is currently a two-year rahui in pla ce at Deep Water Cove (Maunganui Bay) in the Bay of Islands. Meanwhile, an inspiring initiative led by Mäori and supported by Forest & Bird could see an adaptation of the traditional rahui applied at Mimiwhangata, which has been subject of anecdotal and scientific studies for years now (see case study). This hapu-led initiative could be an ground-breaking means of getting real protection for area in the form of a rahui tapu. To read the full article, refer to Mimiwhangata: Aroha for the Sea (PDF).