A Waikato University Maori researcher will spend four years looking at how to make sure mahinga kai, or food gathering, areas along the Waikato River are safe to fish from.
The deputy director of the University's Te Kotahi Research Institute, Maui Hudson, and associate professor Kevin Collier, from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, will head the study, Nga Tohu o te Taiao: Sustaining and Enhancing Wai Maori and Mahinga Kai.
Mr Hudson says the impetus for the study originated from talks among the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group.
In the lead up to the project, a lot of meetings with different iwi groups had discussed concerns over how to ensure freshwater ways are kept clean to ensure traditional food resources are safe to eat and were protected, he says.
The nearly $2 million research project will focus specifically on mahinga kai in the Waikato River and how that model can be applied to other waterways.