Te Mana o Ngā Tuna
Bill Kerrison (Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa), Kokopu Trust
Hailing from the Bay of Plenty, Bill Kerrison has devoted his life to the eels of the Rangitaiki River and other Bay of Plenty rivers.
In 20 year’s Bill’s trapped and relocated around 30 million elvers – driving these young eels up streams where they’ll spend the next 60, 80 or even 100 years before returning to sea to breed. During the autumn Bill catches adult eels beginning their migration to sea, spending all night on the lakes above dams, catching them before the eels get trapped or killed. He then releases the eels downstream where they can carry on their journey.
Bill has committed over 35 years promoting, protecting and enhancing the survival of tuna on the Rangitaiki River as well as supporting tuna kaitiaki. He has worked tirelessly to develop and implement trap and transfer programmes.