New $20k fund for tāngata whenua environmental monitoring

9 Feb 2023, 1:00 PM

Tāngata whenua are being invited to apply for a share of a new $20,000 fund designed to support them in undertaking their own environmental monitoring within Te Taitokerau.

Northland Regional Council chair Tui Shortland says the fund will provide tāngata whenua with environmental monitoring support and resources to complement monitoring activities in projects or programmes where council and tāngata whenua are in partnership.

“This fund can help tāngata whenua to undertake cultural monitoring activities; to increase their skills and knowledge of scientific environmental monitoring; and to develop methods for monitoring the cultural and physical health of fresh and coastal water bodies and their associated ecosystems, as well as the impact of climate change.”

Chair Shortland says council staff have worked with the Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) to develop a policy to guide allocation decisions for the fund.

Applications will be accepted from Friday 10 February until Friday 24 March 2023. The council aims to notify all applicants by mid-April about the outcome of their applications.

“Applicants need to be an established legal or operational tāngata whenua entity such as a marae committee, hapū trust, iwi authority, or a consultant contracted to act on the entity’s behalf.”

Chair Shortland says monitoring data gathered as part of the funding will be made available to the council “unless there are particular sensitivities associated with some or all of the information, for instance wāhi tapu areas or mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) that is held close by hapū”. (In such cases, applicants should describe their expectations in their application).

Tāngata whenua entities which are keen to apply for a share of the fund can visit for further details, where a full list of applicable criteria is provided.

People with nets and equipment in a stream.

File image of local tangata whenua carrying out electric fishing at Moerewa as part of a health survey of the Otiria Stream in summer last year.