Posted on 24 October 2019
Online resource connects and empowers kaitiaki
A new report from the Tāhuhu Matatau Te Ao Tangaroa project summarises the guiding principles, core values and process they’ve used to develop an online digital resource centre for kaitiaki – stewards or guardians – of Aotearoa's marine environments.
Over the last two years, Caine Taipa and Regan Fairlie from Manaaki Te Awanui have co‑developed an online pātaka korero (digital resource) with hapū and kaitiaki of Tauranga Moana. Their guiding principles were to whakapiri (connect), whakahāpai (enhance) and whakamana (empower) the work of kaitiaki.
Marine ecology, spatial planning, real-time monitoring, and aquaculture all produce data that can support kaitiaki in their work. However, finding out about or accessing this information is not always straightforward.
To overcome this issue, the team developed the pātaka korero, which features videos, reports, maps, and published papers. It tells kaitiaki stories and links directly to western science tools. These are presented in a way that has been trialled and tested with frontline kaitiaki and is only available to them.
Tauranga Moana kaitiaki are using the resource to share data, information and tools, and to discuss specific projects online. This is helping them to monitor the marine environment and respond to changes. Kaitiaki have used the tool for projects including:
- Monitoring tuangi (cockles) and titiko (mudflat snail)
- Understanding impacts on estuary health
- Identifying tools for monitoring kai
- Mapping resource management planning areas
- Monitoring abundance of taonga species
The resource is helping new research projects to establish quickly, share expertise, and encourages collaboration and exchange between mātauranga Māori and western science. In this way, it supports the educational, research, future co-management/co-governance, and planning activities in the domain of Tangaroa.
With continued Sustainable Seas funding the researchers are planning to incorporate the latest digital technologies, visual maps, and extend the resource to kaitiaki in other rohe (areas); and will explore ways of sharing the data with others – currently, the resource is protected for use by local kaitiaki only. The team are also investigating how Māori tools and frameworks could be shared with western researchers.
The Tāhuhu Matatau Te Ao Tangaroa project was co-developed with the support of a large team including Kaitiaki me nga hapu o Ngāi Tukairangi, Ngāti Kuku, Ngāi Tamawhariua, Ngāti Te Wai and Te Whānau o Tauwhao ki Otawhiwhi, Epiphron, iPansophy & Manaaki Te Awanui.