Working Together to Protect our Waterways
The Fonterra Mātauranga Māori project involves monitoring of the Pokaiwhenua and Ngutuwera streams which will lead into an Ecological Monitoring Plan for Fonterra. The Cultural Health Index (CHI) programme, is a result of a Waikato Regional Council consent condition on the Fonterra Litchfield Dairy Manufacturing site.
The methodology of the mātauranga māori-based assessment was determined following consultation with Raukawa Charitable Trust (Pūtake Taiao). This will monitor the ecological health of the streams. The assessment was undertaken using both mātauranga māori/CHI and western scientific methods.
Freshwater Monitoring Solutions Ltd. (FMS) have been contracted by Fonterra to do the western science methodology and opted for a CHI programme in conjunction with firstly Dr. Charlotte Severne and now Dr. Gail Tipa.
On day one of the stream monitoring, Raukawa uri in collaboration with FMS monitored the two upstream sites (control sites), On day two the team monitored the ecological condition downstream – past the Fonterra Litchfield Dairy Manufacturing site.
Marae representatives (Ngātira, Mangakaretu, and Whakaaratamaiti) worked closely with FMS at the monitoring sites, documenting their observations through the CHI programme and western scientific methods. This gave opportunity for uri to collect samples which will be included as data in the reports to come. Kōura, tuna, ngohi and other living creatures where found while monitoring – which was encouraging in terms of healthy waterways.
Ngātira endorsed marae kaitiaki representative, Tracey Whare, got her gumboots wet working alongside FMS exploring the western scientific monitoring method. “Spending time monitoring the cultural health of our freshwater and working with passionate scientists was a great experience. The fieldwork included places I had never been to before. It certainly gave me a greater appreciation of our responsibilities as kaitiaki and the importance of knowing our own lands and waterways.”
Raukawa will continue to collaborate with Fonterra over the next 25years, monitoring the ecological health of the Pokaiwhenua and Ngutuwera.
For more information, please contact us on 0800 728 5292.