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New Science Series Starting on Māori Television



New Science Series Starting on Māori Television

PROJECT WHENUA is a brand new environmental science series starting Tuesday, October 14 at 8.00pm on Māori Television.

Put together by the team that brought you Project Mātauranga, the series explores science happening in the community, with a focus on innovative environmental projects that use Māori knowledge and concepts.

In each of the 13 episodes, host and environmental scientist Tuaiwa Darcel Rickard checks out a different project, company or group around the country that is using a Māori world view to the benefit of their community.

PROJECT WHENUA travels to an island in the Cook Strait that is home to more than 90 per cent of the world’s tuatara population and an ‘ecological island’ right in the heart of the Waikato that features the world’s longest predator-proof fence.

We look into a Rotorua marae’s plan to go off-the-grid, and we visit Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei as they look at ways to filter the water in one of Auckland City’s busy bays.

We also follow a small, but dedicated group of kaimahi on Matakana Island as they work on restoring the wetlands, while also still dealing with the after-effects of the Rena grounding off their coastline.

PROJECT WHENUA showcases not only those who work behind-the-scenes, but gives a starring role to the landscapes of Aotearoa – our rolling hills, beautiful sunsets, native forests and shorelines.

PROJECT WHENUA premieres on Tuesday October 14 at 8.00pm.


Episode 1: Takapourewa. October 14
We take a trip to Takapourewa, or Stephen’s Island, at the top of the Marlborough Sounds, to meet some of the 30,000 tuatara living there and learn about the work being done to ensure their survival.

Episode 2: Environmental Sentinels. October 21
Project Kaitiaki is a new Gisborne-based voluntary water monitoring project that uses species such as tuna and shellfish as environmental sentinels.

Episode 3: Manawa Honey New Zealand. October 28
Ngāi Tūhoe have been gathering honey from the forests in Ruatāhuna for over a century. A new venture from the Tūhoe Tuawhenua Trust is hoping honey production will bring work, money and honey to this isolated community.

Episode 4: Matakana Island Environmental Group. November 4
The Matakana Island Environmental Group plays a vital role in the restoration of wetlands, estuaries and coastline habitats on this small island off the Tauranga Harbour.

Episode 5: Maurea Islands Restoration. November 11
We look at a two-year project spearheaded by Waikato-Tainui to develop new ways to eradicate invasive pest plants on two river islands in the Waikato River.

Episode 6: Whakaora te Waihora. November 18
Whakaora te Waihora is a large-scale restoration project to clean up the polluted lake Waihora, the fourth largest lake in NZ. We visit the hau kainga as they work with NIWA to replace karepo seed beds that used to grow there.

Episode 7: Whangawehi Catchment Management Group. November 25
Three marae, local and regional councils, other agencies and a private company are now on board the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group, all working towards fixing water quality issues along the Whangawehi River, on the Mahia Peninsula.

Episode 8: East Otago Taiapure. December 2
Twenty-two kilometres of coastline in East Otago has been designated a taiapure since 2001 as a way to allow tangata whenua to manage the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area.

Episode 9: Waikawa Fishing Company. December 9
The Waikawa Fishing Company is a Māori-owned fishing business that has been operating out of Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island, for more than 30 years. To stay ahead of the game, this whānau is investing in their future through research into innovative, sustainable fishing methods.

Episode 10: Kearoa Marae’s Micro Hydro. December 16
By installing a micro-hydro unit on the Pokaitu stream that runs at the back of Kearoa Marae at Horohoro, just outside of Rotorua, Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara are now generating their own power. We visit and find out about their other plans for self-sufficiency.

Episode 11: Alternative Applications of Pest Control. December 23
While 1080 aerial drops are effective for dealing with possums in our forests, they are also controversial. We visit two sites, one in Manaia, Coromandel and the other in the Abel Tasman, that are trialling ‘Spitfires’, a targeted, innovative method of pest control.

Episode 12: Ōkahu Bay. December 30
Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei are trialling a project to clean up Ōkahu Bay. Decades of increased pollution, siltation, construction and discharge into the bay have diminished the mauri of this significant site, but mussel reefs may offer a solution.

Episode 13: Maungatautari – Sanctuary Mountain. January 6
Maungatautari is home to the largest ecological restoration project in the country, and aims to restore forest that once grew in the heart of the Waikato. The world’s largest predator-proof fence is just one of the tools being used to achieve this.


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