Kia Maia Ellis (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Ruanui) was one of the three successful Tonganui Scholarship recipients who aims to develop a transdisciplinary approach to address declining kōura (crayfish) populations in Tauranga Moana.
She is currently in her second year of a PhD with the University of Waikato and is completing research towards a transdisciplinary mātauranga Māori and science approach to enhancement and resilience of puerulus kōura (Jasus edwardsii) in a changing climate.
Kia Maia plans to utilise the fund to facilitate active wānanga, sourcing pūkenga/local expertise (kuia, koroua, weavers, fishermen etc.) for mātauranga ā iwi wānanga, workshops, and field trips.
“The design of this study stems directly from the needs and aspirations of our people in the management of customary fisheries and the Mātaitai Reserve in Tauranga Moana,” says Ellis.
“The research will assist with understanding the current state of the kōura population, understand the effects of climate change, and develop mātauranga Māori and marine science-based tools and knowledge to address the cumulative effects on the sustainability of kōura in Tauranga Moana.”
These hui will explore harvesting kōura in the face of climate change and look at various local harvesting methods, to then design, create and trial mātauranga-centred pēpi kōura collection methods.