HELPING IWI FISHERIES ACHIEVE A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

To assist towards planning for, protecting and sustainably managing their freshwater environment and customary freshwater fisheries, 4Sight was engaged to help the eight mana whenua iwi of Te Tau Ihu gain a deeper understanding of their native freshwater environment.

The project

4Sight undertook a review of historical and current scientific and cultural research within the rohe, to understand the current state. A range of interview materials was then designed to capture and understand:

  • traditional fishing histories, tikanga and kawa specific to hapū or iwi;
  • mahinga kai sites, and taonga species  – how they were and how they are now, individual perspectives on current issues and solutions, and
  • iwi aspirations for the future.

Face-to-face interviews were carried out with Kaumātua throughout the rohe. The interviews were professionally filmed by writer and film director Wiremu Grace to capture these personal memories as part of the historical record. 

The final output provided a visual representation of environmental and historical information using GIS mapping to support the report.

The approach

We recognised from the start that our client was seeking more than just another scientific report, but more a reflection of the state of the rohe from an iwi and hapu perspective, represented visually and backed by hard facts.    This required a diverse set of skills encompassing ecology, freshwater and customary fisheries management, policy, GIS and an understanding of Te Ao Māori.

  • We gave a voice to iwi and hapū aspirations through interviews. Establishing relationships through correct protocol, acknowledging mana, and taking the time to talk and listen meant that Kaumātua felt comfortable to express their views, and share their history.
  • We used our familiarity with ecological databases and information sources to find and incorporate a wide range of relevant information.
  • We used GIS mapping to present information visually in a way that was easy to understand, while retaining a greater level of detail that could be analysed at any given time;
  • We presented the results orally, and provided digital copies of the GIS maps and final report.

The outcome

Iwi now have a clearer understanding and documented record of the state of the native freshwater fishery, the various pressures it faces, the regulatory mechanism, along with a clear picture of the information gaps that need to be filled to enable long term sustainable management.  

Prioritised recommendations to address information gaps were developed in line with iwi driven solutions that will help achieve iwi aspirations for freshwater fishery management.