Tu¯taepatu Lagoon collaboration
A study at Tu¯taepatu Lagoon near Woodend which will see researchers investigate water quality and its effects on freshwater fish fauna, mahinga kai and wider ecosystems.
The research collaboration involves the University of Canterbury (UC), Te Nga¯i Tu¯a¯huriri Runanga, Mahaanui Kurataiao Limited, Te Ko¯haka o Tu¯haitara Trust, and the University of Hawaii Ma¯noa.
Nigel Harris, Kaia¯rahi Ma¯ori Research within UC Research & Innovation, said the research would be an exploration of evidence-based ‘Western science’ and Ma¯tauranga Ma¯ori as a means to provide catalysts for research organisations and hapu¯based practitioners to establish new connections and develop mahinga kai relationship across the Pacific.
The study aims to investigate how the water quality of the lagoon changes over time and space and how it may impact taonga species of importance to local hapu¯ such as tuna/longfin eel and shortfin eel. Restoration of lagoon water will also be investigated to ascertain its effects on other restoration initiatives, including the ko¯aro/Canterbury mudfish, ka¯kahi/freshwater mussel, ke¯wai/freshwater crayfish and ı¯nanga/whitebait. It will also look at how water quality differs between perceived degraded and healthy ecosystems. Harris said the data would be analysed in the context of traditional practices and stories, and compared with available data trends of Hawaii Loko i’a, or fishponds.
The study is being funded by Te Pu¯naha Hihiko – Vision Ma¯tauranga Capability Fund.
Tu¯taepatu Lagoon is the subject of a study to investigate water quality and its effect on the wider ecosystem.