Kohunga Kutai project background
Explore Tāwharanui Regional Park and meet Nicola from the Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust. Find out more about mana whenua in this rohe, the Kohunga Kutai project and its aim to improve the health of the moana.
- How might the Kohunga Kutai project improve the health of the moana?
- What other industries could use plant fibres instead of plastic and how might they do this?
Rāhui – a korowai of protection
Take a look at the korowai that has been placed to protect the moana in this area and discover how rāhui are used to help restore marine ecosystems.
- What rules are in place in your local marine area to protect it from overfishing?
- What new ideas do you have for protecting marine ecosystems?
Meet Te Ao a Kaiwhatu weaver who is working on the Kohunga Kutai project. Explore a Pā harakeke and discover more about the tikanga involved in harvesting harakeke flax.
- What can harakeke be used for?
- What new uses do you have for harakeke and how could you ensure that these were sustainable?
A natural solution to plastic in mussel aquaculture
Visit the Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust office in Warkworth. Meet Carmen to find out more about mātauranga Māori of local plant species and how their woven fibres could replace plastic ropes on mussel farms.
- What are the challenges involved with using plant fibres instead of plastic to catch mussel spat on mussel farms?
- What are the benefits of using plant fibres instead of plastic on mussel farms?
Trialling taonga species for kūtai spat
Take a closer look at some of the plant species that Te Ao has been working with on the Kohunga Kutai project and find out which species she has chosen for trials.
- What are the benefits of using the introduced pest plant pampas?
- How can you tell the difference between pampas and native toetoe?
Kūtai - a valuable shellfish
Explore Pākiri Beach at low tide and discover one of the last remaining natural kūtai mussel beds in the area. Talk to Brad from the University of Auckland about the role of this taonga species in the marine ecosystem.
- How much seawater can a kūtai filter in a day?
- What are the benefits and challenges of farming kūtai in Aotearoa?
Testing natural fibre strength
Head to the University of Auckland Leigh Marine Laboratory to see how Brad tests the strength of plant fibres to see which ones would be most suitable to trial for catching mussel spat.
- How is the strength of plant fibres measured?
- What other properties need to be taken into account in order to choose the best plant fibre to make mussel spat catching ropes?
Sea trialling natural fibres
See the equipment Brad uses to test plant fibres out in the ocean to see if they will catch mussel spat.
- Why does Brad have to repeat his tests multiple times at different sites?
- Try weaving harakeke in different ways and see which methods create the strongest rope.
Mussel spat attachment – a microscopic view
Head back to the laboratory at Leigh to see if plant fibres being trialled in the Kohunga Kutai project have caught any spat and find out more about the life cycle of kūtai.
- Find out about other uses of plastic in marine areas and how we can reduce the amount of plastic entering our oceans.