April 07 cut-off for tāngata whenua environmental monitoring fund

23 Mar 2023, 9:10 AM

Time is running out for tāngata whenua 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.

Environmental monitoring includes testing, measuring, or recording observations of water, air, soil, flora/fauna at various sites over an extended period of time. The data collected is used to see trends in an environment over time.

Examples of environmental monitoring include:

  • Collecting water or soil samples to analyse what is in them
  • Measuring water quality and quantity
  • Recording observations at particular sites
  • Surveying flora and/or fauna in the stream, forest or on the beach

“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 worked with the Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) to develop a policy to guide allocation decisions for the fund.

Applications opened Friday 10 February and will close at 5pm on Friday, 07 April 2023.

“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.”

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 keen to apply for a share of the fund can visit www.nrc.govt.nz/TWEMF for further details, where a full list of applicable criteria is provided.

People in stream using electric fishing equipment.

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.