A number of laws were passed in the 1860s to control hunting. Under the Protection of Animals Act 1867, some native birds traditionally hunted by Māori could only be caught from April to July. The most important were kererū (New Zealand pigeons) and native ducks. The Tauranga, Maketū and Ōpōtiki districts were exempted by this proclamation, which recognised the importance of these birds as a food source for Māori.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: New Zealand Gazette 10, 17 February 1868, p. 81
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