Press Release 5: New approach to engaging Māori with river data launched

Press Release 5: New approach to engaging Māori with river data launched

A new approach to engaging Māori communities with conservation and digital technologies has been launched today. The project is a collaboration between Tuia Innovation, KotahiNet and Touch Media.

Sensors for continuously monitoring some aspects of river water quality will be installed at five sites across the Upper Waikato River. The intention is to monitor the condition of the water as it flows through the Te Arawa River Iwi rohe area. The five sensors will be located in the Te Arawa River Iwi areas from Huka Falls to Atiamuri.

Project leader Juan Prado of Tuia Innovation said, “There is an opportunity to combine ‘kaitiakitanga’ and recent technology developments, including the Internet of Things (IoT), to address the growing distance between the land and its people. We see the ability to capture data and then representing that data meaningfully as a tool for educating, informing, and engaging communities.”

Real-time and historical water quality data will be freely available to everyone. In addition, the project will explore ways to present information in an engaging manner such that it encourages the community to think about, and participate in, river conservation and development.

Mr Prado also explained, “This project will seek to educate and train local Māori as well as potentially create work experience-type roles as pathways for Māori into the digital technology sector, particularly in the areas of IoT systems and big data.”

The project has secured funding from the Ka Hao: Māori Digital Technology Development Fund administered by Te Puni Kōkiri. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2018.


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