A Taranaki iwi trust says it hopes funding for new research will reconnect its members with rivers, or awa.
Massey University and Te Korowai o Ngaruahine trust will collaborate to carry out the project to help improve and better understand the health of rivers within the the tribe's whenua.
The trust's general manager, Cassandra Crowley, said the project will combine matauranga Maori and science.
She believes people have lost the ability to connect and be involved with the rivers' health and well-being, and some opportunities to engage and share that knowledge has been lost.
Ms Crowley hopes the project will find ways for iwi members to re-engage and blend scientific rationale with traditional knowledge that still exists.