Celia Witehira and Dr Charles Royal

Te Kawa Waiora project

Te Kawa Waiora is a research project, inspired by the hearts and minds of marae, hapū and iwi of the Wairoa River, to improve the health and mauri of the river and its tributaries.

The project, overseen by Reconnecting Northland, is focused on bringing together the people of the awa through hui wānanga, to discuss a new pathway of ecological management, based on mātauranga Māori. The project ran through the two-year period of 2020-2021 and conducted a series of research capability training workshops for iwi and hapū to engage in and conduct their own research to answer their questions about the awa and its people’s deep history.

Charles Royal discusses the outcomes and findings of this research including the presence of mātauranga Māori in the research and the call for a resourced and sustained Kaitiaki network in the study area.

Celia shares insights of managing a kaupapa Māori-based research project within the constraints of government funding and administration, including the recognition of the contribution from hapū communities and what is important to them.