50 years have passed allowing the mutton bird to increase their numbers on Whale Island.

Last month a group of Ngati Awa descendants went over to harvest some muttonbirds to feed their families.

A quota of 150 birds was taken for this season in 2012, but another season is scheduled for 2013 to harvest the mutton bird, a species hunted by the people who descend from Mataatua Waka traditions as far back as the 1950s.

In that era the mutton birds were cooked in a hangi until the ban  when the Whakatane people turned to eating pork instead for Christmas.

E rima tekau tau tawhito e tipu ana nga manu moana nga tītī i runga i Moutohora e kī nei a Ngati Awa he ingoa ano mo aua manu moana ko te kuia. Hoi ano no te marama o Whringa-a-Nuku i tae etahi uri o Ngati Awa ki te hopu i te kuia hei whangai i o ratau whanau. I tohua kia kotahi rau me te riam tekau te katoa nga kuia ka hopu hei tenei tau rua mano ngahuru ma rua, hoi ano he kaupeka ano ka tu a te tau rua mano ngahuru ma toru hei taua tauhouanga e hauhake ana he kuia era manu moana i whai i nga iwi o Mataatua Waka i era tau i mua atu i te rautau, kotahi mano, iwa rau rima tekau. I tera wa ko tunu era mano moana ki roto i nga hāngi, otira na te aukati o taua momo manu moana i tera wa tawhito ka kuri ke nga iwi o konei o Whakatane ki te patu ke i te poaka hei kai i te wa kirihimete.