Muaüpoko coastal research project 2011-2014

In August 2010 the members of the Manawatū River Leaders' Forum signed an Accord to take action to improve the state of the Manawatū River. One of the commitments was to establish a collaboratively owned action plan. This was developed by a group of participants representing iwi/hapu, environmental groups, pastoral and production industries, district and city councils and Horizons Regional Council. The action plan calls for a substantial decline in harmful sediments and pollutants entering the waterway along with habitat protection and habitat enhancement initiatives. Muaupoko believes that the sediments and nutrients from non-point and point discharges flowing into the Manawatū River is adversely affecting the moana, namely the Hokio Beach. Further, anecdotal evidence relating to the site of the Hydrabad and a recent Maori Land Court case suggests that silting of the Hokio Beach via the Manawatū River is very extensive by volume.

This research project is being developed to establish base data from which over the next three years, further testing can be done to measure the improvements resulting from the Manawatū River Accord initiatives. If improvements are achieved, this will result in a better habitat along the coast and provide for improved shellfish communities.

Project Objectives

This project will be undertaken to provide Muaupoko with an insight into western technology and by conducting our own research with assistance from knowledgeable organisations and/or persons, thereby adding a new tool to our kaitiakitanga kete.

Muaupoko would like to see the Manawatū River Accord actions transfer into a positive change and intend as part of their research to carry out a bio mass survey in their rohe as has previously been done on Dargaville Beach. Ojectives of the research project are:

Objective 1 – By the 31 May 2011 we will have designed an agreed quantity and quality monitoring process that can be repeated at six monthly intervals by trained members of Muaupoko hapū.

Objective 2 – By 31 May 2012, Muaupoko hapu representatives complete the surveys with confidence, and may even offer up further suggestions to enhance the beach ecosystem. Muaupoko hapū will also be trained in data entry. The potential for re-seeding will be researched. The actual undertaking of re-seeding if determined to be viable is not part of this research project.

Objective 3 – By completion of the project (30 September, 2013) team members will be sufficiently resourced to enable each member to perform a Kaitiaki role, assimilating both Tikanga Maori and western science technology.

The Muaupoko Coastal Research Project 2011-2014
Project Update June 2012

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