NIWA featured on Māori Television’s Project Whenua
NIWA’s involvement in the restoration of Te Waihora, New Zealand’s fifth largest lake, was recently featured on Māori Television’s new series, Project Whenua.
The recently featured episode highlighted the macrophyte restoration project NIWA has been working on with the University of Canterbury as part of the Whakaora Te Waihora cultural and ecological restoration programme between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Canterbury Regional Council and the Ministry for the Environment.
Submerged macrophytes (aquatic plants that grow under the water) provide habitat for fish and other lake life. They help to keep the water clean and clear. Of particular concern to Ngāi Tahu are impacts of macrophyte loss on mahinga kai, access to customary species and reduced effectiveness of customary fishing practices and harvesting methods. Project Whenua interviewed NIWA scientist Mary de Winton who is working with Ngāi Tahu whānau and the local community to re-establish macrophyte beds in the lake.
NIWA staff were filmed collecting aquatic plants for cultivation, and working with community volunteers during a planting day at the purpose-built culture facility at Taumutu. The plants, once large enough, will be transplanted into the lake as part of the restoration programme.