Research projects

Water Research

Enhancing waikato perspectives on the allocation and modelling of water in the waikato river catchment

Project Team: Whetu Consultancy Group

Funded by: 

This report suggests that to enhance the future management of surface water and groundwater resources in the Waikato River catchment, the ideal model is to have a cultural allocable flow identified within the current waterallocation framework that provides for the social, environmental, spiritual and cultural aspirations of Waikato- Tainui.

Publication: Water Allocation – Report

Manaaki Tuna

Project Team: Erina Watene-Rawiri

Funded by: Waikato River Cleanup Trust (WRA)

This research has a special focus on the Waikato River which is both noted in the WRA’s Trust Deed and the Waikato River Settlement; and includes; Matters that improve the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, the gathering and preservation of Waikato-Tainui histories associated with the Waikato River. This is a multi-year project.

Publication: Manaaki Tuna Restoration Guide


Project Team: Dr. Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai

 Funded by: The Cultural Conservancy

This project research focus is of identifying, documenting and the protection of six local Waikato-Tainui marae’s traditional water knowledge along the Waikato River.



Project Team: Ihipera Heke-Sweet 

Funded by: The Cultural Conservancy

Phase Two of the Te Wai Project is to develop and deliver a “Te Wai Training Programme” for marae rangatahi and to create a Te Wai database that is easy to use and access, with a capacity to hold 68 Marae databases.

Publication: Te Wai Booklet


People Research


Project Team: Jonathan Kilgour & Lynley Uerata

Funded by: Health Research Council (HRC)

The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between cultural connectedness and wellbeing from a Waikato-Tainui rangatahi perspective. The Waikato-Tainui rangatahi’s view about wellbeing is central to the research. For the College to achieve this we want to explore how Waikato-Tainui rangatahi connect and/or reconnect to Waikato-Tainui. The project will investigate rangatahi cultural connectedness and identify elements to increase notions of wellbeing and health. It will draw on the experiences of approximately 30 rangatahi, as they progress through Whaia te Pae Tawhiti, a three-year Waikato-Tainiui Leadership programme structured on Kiingitanga values and service through physical activity and traditional voyaging.

Links to Final Reports: Haunui, Haurua, Hauora |  Photobook – Haunui, | Summary Haunui.

Takituu – Governance

Project Team: Tuhoro Paki, Donelle Hughes

Funded by: Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated

This programme is designed to assist leaders of iwi and other Maaori organisations and communities in thinking about and preparing for the tasks of governance.

Professor Stephen Cornell, Co-Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development; states that in the course of your discussions, he will have in mind a particular idea of governance, something more than what typically is taught in business schools or by consultancies and institutions that serve the needs of corporate leaders. For the purposes of your discussions, he defines governance as the principles and mechanisms by which the will of a community is translated  into sustained, organised action.

The communities Professor Cornell, has in mind are Indigenous communities – nations, tribes, iwi, in the so-called CANZUS countries: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. In all four of these countries, colonised Indigenous peoples are reclaiming the right to govern their lands and other resources, their internal affairs, their futures – in short, to govern themselves. As they do so, they face a distinct set of challenges involving governance, sustainability, and development that you will explore over three days.

Ebook Publication: Takituu E-Book 

“There is no development without research and no research without development”

Sir Robert Mahuta