Research funding to help Kaikōura's fishery

16 April 2015

Two UC researchers have received about $100,000 of government funding to collect information about the state of customary fisheries along the Kaikōura coastline.

Research funding to help Kaikōura's fishery - Imported from Legacy News system

Dr John Pirker and Dr Sharyn Goldstien

Two University of Canterbury marine researchers have received about $100,000 of government funding over two years to collect information about the state of customary fisheries along the Kaikōura coastline.

Dr Sharyn Goldstien and Dr John Pirker (Biological Sciences) will create an innovative tertiary education programme in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and community mentors, including the Kaikōura District Council and community partners.

The UC pair will develop research projects in collaboration with Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura involving secondary school students and the community to strengthen conservation objectives.

Dr Pirker says Kaikōura is a small town of only 4500 residents and has an environment and associated tourism industry of national significance as well as community conservation engagement.

“Integrating these values with a tertiary science station at Kaikōura that has been delivering research outputs for over 50 years, we will deliver outcomes of national and international importance, with lasting biodiversity gains and economic well-being for New Zealand.

“We will work with representatives from Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, lead by Raewyn Solomon, to conduct initial environmental surveys and to develop a framework for ongoing project development and engagement with local practitioners of kaitiaki, or guardians of the land and sea.

“We will establish a National Centre of Marine Conservation and Education, to be known as O Kahukura, O Marokura, which will offer an education programme driven by iwi values and ensures the ongoing guardianship of recently implemented customary conservation tools.”

Dr Goldstien say this will enable iwi, hapu, the wider community, schools and research organisations to transform the ways they interact for biodiversity gain.

“Our goal is to create a working education model for the sustainable management of local resources and to develop kaitiakitanga throughout New Zealand.

“Globally, Kaikōura boasts the most diverse sub-marine canyon fauna and seabird communities, hosts resident marine mammals in ecosystems from coastal shores to the deep sea canyon, and includes the only seabird to nest in an alpine habitat.

“Community-driven conservation is becoming more common throughout the world. However, the values and work of kaitiaki and community leaders are rarely linked to scientific research and scientists don’t always see the value of data collected or local knowledge held by members of the community,” Dr Goldstien says.


For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168