Earlier in 2022, Matt Desmond and his wider team were appointed as the science partner on the research project, Iongairo. Iongairo is a collaborative partnership between papatipu rūnanga of Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū, the Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury. Iongairo is kupu Māori, representing the relationship between Papatūānuku and Tangaroa — the first knowledge of the meeting of the whenua/land and the moana/ocean.

The Iongairo team will identify and assess habitats (such as rock, sand, and mud) and species (such as pāua, mussels, and seaweed types) of importance, and look at the impact of human activities on the environment. User-friendly, online maps of the seafloor will be developed, and the data collected will also help researchers to assess and predict the impacts of climate change on key habitats and species. Knowledge gained through the project will ultimately help rūnanga, communities and agencies to make informed decisions on ecosystem management.

Read more about the project here: https://arcg.is/1n5SXT