Tu¯taepatu La­goon col­lab­o­ra­tion

Northern Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

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.

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