Ki Uta Ki Tai
Assessing the interactions between loadings of different contaminants from freshwaters on the health and functioning of estuaries
Project Details Ngā taipitopito
Collaborators Ngā haumi
Auckland Council | Cawthron Institute | Department of Conservation | Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group | Kitson Consulting | Land Water People | Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research | Ministry for the Environment | MPI | MUSA Environmental | NIWA | Sustainable Seas Challenge | Te Ao Mārama Inc (Ngai Tahu ki Murihiku) | Te Rūnanga ō Ngāti Whakahemo | University Of Otago | University Of Waikato
The health and functioning of estuaries are affected by contaminants from freshwater. These contaminants interact with each other, causing cumulative effects that can be difficult to predict. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management does not yet include how to assess the interactions of contaminants.
We are working with Sustainable Seas, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), to address this gap.
In case study estuaries, Māori researchers will work with whānau, hapū, iwi and local community groups to identify aspirations for their estuary, and present uses and stressors.
Our Land and Water researchers will estimate freshwater contaminant loads to New Zealand estuaries historically, now, and under a changed climate. Sustainable Seas will then combine the data with information on estuarine ecology to determine critical stressor thresholds and buffers that take into account the stressors’ cumulative effects, mātauranga Māori, and locally informed objectives. These critical stressor thresholds will be used to establish limits for freshwater contaminants.
Our Land and Water will then assess whether implementing different land management options can meet the proposed limits – now, by 2050, or by 2100.