He Pataka Wai Ora is a research project that monitors the health of the Waikouaiti River. Led by Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki, the aim of He Pataka Waiora is to provide a solid baseline of the health of the river in 2015/2016 for future monitoring. This will enable Kaitiaki to see if the environmental health (Waiora) of the river is improving and make informed management decisions regarding the river, particularly when the new mātaitai on the Waikouaiti is gazetted. Nine traditional Mahinga Kai sampling sites on both the estuary and the river inland were chosen for both cultural and scientific value. Sampling happens twice a month throughout the year so a robust dataset for all seasons is built up. Along with nutrients and physical parameters, transects up from the shore line will record the state of the banks in terms of vegetation and substrate. This work is funded by the Te Wai Māori Trust (http://waimaori.maori.nz/research/purpose.htm).