Led by Te Whenua Tōmuri Trust this project worked with Taranaki District Health Board, marae and schools to understand cultural and scientific indicators of river health.

This included water quality, plant and animal life with community representatives being trained in science methodology to examine these variables. Karl Russell from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu helped participants understand the different elements of cultural health monitoring
Community groups involved in this project were already monitoring the health of their local awa and this project sought to extend this work to understand:
  • How safe is the water for swimming?
  • How healthy and safe are the fish for eating?
  • How healthy and safe are water plants for eating?
  • How healthy is the ecosystem from a cultural perspective?
 
Participants extended their leaning of how to use scientific tools, assess things from an ecological perspective and gain understanding of how communities can work with sectors such as farmers, scientists, iwi and local government to improve these ecosystems. Trialling the new methods added a cultural, economic and recreational element to freshwater monitoring.