Tuwharetoa logo

This Project is to develop skills and further knowledge  
using a mix of mātauranga Māori and western science

Tēna tātou, nau mai haere mai ki te pae tukutuku o Project Kaitiaki.

This page is a work in progress, we’ll be continuously updating and adding information and resources to support kaitiakitanga ki Ngāti Tūwharetoa.


Brief Overview – Te Ahunga Mai o Project Kaitiaki

Project Kaitiaki is a new kaupapa established under the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, guided by Nga Kaihautū o te Awa o Waikato. The project’s objective is to build capacity and capability in Tūwharetoa tangata to participate in and make decisions for wai and te taiao. The project aims to develop skills and further knowledge using a mix of mātauranga Māori and Western science.


our key objectives – NgĀ paearu angitu

  • Design a pilot project to develop kaitiaki plans with Te Hikuwai o Tūwharetoa Marae
  • Develop a mātauranga framework to help understand and protect our wai māori for future generations
  • Investigate new ways to digitally preserve important information
  • Develop resources, and tools and hold wānanga to support Kaitiakitanga

The Trust Board received funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Te Mana o te Wai fund, the project ends in February 2025.

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UPCOMING Events – Huihuinga

E tū ngā hapū tūwharetoa taiao wānanga 


Project Kaitiaki is excited to offer the next part of our E tū ngā hapū o Tūwharetoa wānanga series. We are once again collaborating with Poipoia to deliver this second wānanga which aims to support whānau and hapū in understanding the components needed to develop and deliver taiao projects. The first of these will take place in Tūrangi on Wednesday 31 July, followed by a second wānanga in Taupō on Thursday 1 August. These are identical wānanga offered as two separate opportunities to allow participation by all whānau in our rohe.

Please note that these are full day wānanga during the working week. Places are limited so please make all necessary arrangements to attend the wānanga prior to registering your place.

Registration will permit attendance at only one of the wānanga. Information regarding venue location and programme will be sent out once our registration list is confirmed.


If you have any pātai, please email projectkaitiaki@tuwharetoa.co.nz.



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Te Hira Pū-Ao

Check back regularly for updates

PAST Events – Huihuinga O MUA

Kura Taiao ki Ngāti Tūwharetoa

PROGRAMME: click here

Kaupapa: Kura Taiao aimed to foster meaningful conversations, engage in insightful wānanga with esteemed taiao specialists, and create an atmosphere conducive to reflecting on our relationship with te taiao.

Ngā Aronga Matua: Our focus was on reigniting enthusiasm for te taiao and enhancing kaitiaki capabilities within our Tūwharetoa rohe. The programme included sessions on maramataka, identifying whakapapa species, showcasing environmental innovations, mahinga kai narratives, commitment to tino rangatiratanga, and more.

Ngā Hua o Te Wānanga: The aim of Kura Taiao was to inspire whānau to embrace kaitiakitanga, articulate motivations for action, and equip whānau with the necessary resources for effecting positive change.

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Te Wai Māori 

Annual Fresh Water Conference

Te Wai Māori Trust was proud to present the Māori Freshwater Fisheries Conference, bringing together kaitiaki wai Māori from around Aotearoa for two days of inspiring kōrero on our wai Māori taonga and their kainga. The 2023 conference was held in November in Wakatū (Nelson). Click here for an overview of the two-day conference.


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E tū Ngā Hapū o Tūwharetoa tAIaO WĀNANGA


Project Kaitiaki, in collaboration with Poipoia, offered E tū ngā hapū o Tūwharetoa, a one-day wānanga which gathered together hapū and whānau of Te Hikuwai to share common kōrero and goals, strengthen relationships and identify special places. Facilitated by Tina Porou and the team at PoipoiaE tū ngā hapū o Tūwharetoa was the first in a series of upcoming wānanga which aim to support hapū of Ngāti Tūwharetoa to build their capability and capacity to participate in and make decisions for wai and te taiao.

Tina Porou and the team at Poipoia bring with them a high-level of expertise and knowledge surrounding the current taiao legislative context, as well as delivering exciting and engaging capability-building programmes for hapū and iwi around the motu.

Check back regularly for the second installment of this wānanga series.


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Information and Resources – pitopito kōrero me ngĀ rauemi matihiko

Relevant links to freshwater management and legislation.


Guidelines Te Mana o Te Wai MFE - Freshwater Te Wai Māori Waikato Regional Council Waikato River Authority

Funding Opportunities – Tahua pūtea mō ngā kaupapa taiao


Ngāti Tūwharetoa Genesis Energy Committee

The primary purpose of the committee is to distribute mitigation funds on behalf of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

Ngāti Tūwharetoa Mercury Development Group

The Ngāti Tūwharetoa – Mercury Development Group was established as a result of a partnership agreement between Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Mighty River Power (now Mercury) in October 2002. The Development Group is charged with the task of supporting Ngāti Tūwharetoa in cultural, educational and environmental projects.

Waikato Regional Council

Various funding and scholarship opportunities for the Waikato region.

Tiaki Wai Fund

Each year, Te Wai Māori Trust provides the Tiaki Wai fund to support iwi, hapū, and whānau to fulfil aspirations for freshwater fisheries in their rohe.

Ngā Matapopore Whenua

Each year, six grants of $10,000 each are available to catchment groups across the Upper North Island, Eastern North Island, Central New Zealand, Canterbury, Otago-South Canterbury, and Southland to support sustainable initiatives for rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands.

Check back regularly for updates.


Ngāti Tūwharetoa Genesis Energy Ngāti Tūwharetoa Mercury Development Group Waikato Regional Council Tiaki Wai Fund Ngā Matapopore Whenua