Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme

Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme Ahuriri Lagoon Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme

A journey towards reinstating and restoring a thriving cultural ecosystem and habitat.

Our team of consultants were tasked with delivering a Mātauranga Māori Monitoring Programme for the Whakaora Te Ahuriri project, which is being delivered through the Whakaora Te Waihora programme (an operational programme under the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group).

The purpose of the Mātauranga Māori monitoring programme is to demonstrate how to measure the cultural outcomes of the Whakaora Te Ahuriri project, and whether the resulting changes over time within Ahuriri Lagoon may improve cultural outcomes for Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga.

In addition, the Mātauranga Māori monitoring programme seeks to integrate cultural values and aspirations into the design of a re-constructed wetland that aims to improve biodiversity and mahinga kai, attenuate nutrients and sediment, and provide a smaller-scale  ‘proof of concept’ that it is possible and valuable to restore the lagoon, its habitats, and some of its original functions for Ngāi Tahu.

Our approach included a simple, trusted and culturally appropriate method that involved key inputs by Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga representatives. It was critical that the engagement process was seamlessly integrated into the overall wetland design process, as well as with the existing internal processes of wider programme partners and steering group members. Working with all parties, a Cultural Values Report was prepared that provided the wetland construction project team with an overview of manawhenua cultural values and aspirations associated with Ahuriri Lagoon. This report provided a clear monitoring programme for phase two of the Whakaora Te Ahuriri project; it is proposed that six sites across the Ahuriri area will be monitored using various cultural monitoring tools such as the Takiwā tool, the Cultural Health Index and fish monitoring via electric fishing and net setting.

Throughout the Whakaora Te Ahuriri project, Mātauranga Māori has been identified as being critical to informing both the design and reconstruction of the traditional wetland, as well as being a tool to monitor progress and performance of the wetland.

Our role was critical to the wetland design phase as we lead the engagement with mana whenua to ensure the cultural values of Ahuriri were at the forefront of the wetland design thinking.  We also developed the ongoing process for monitoring changes in the wetland, which has since been developed into a further project in 2019 and will ensure mana whenua engagement and involvement throughout the construction phase.  This second phase of the project also involves us providing advice in relation to consenting, construction tendering, site blessing and planting.

For further information please contact Craig Pauling or Mapihi Martin-Paul

19 February 2019