Firstly, We acknowledge the enormous efforts of local people is supporting our work. Through providing their time, a bed, a hot shower, a meal or whatever is needed at the time – they have made our work easier and much more fun. Support and input from local communities that know the fisheries we work best is key in us doing our jobs.

Thus far, TMK’s main funding has come from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI, formerly FRST) and Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu.

MSI provided a four-year grant from its Te Tipu o te Wānanga programme, from 2007-2011, to kickstart our project. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu funded the participation of Ngāi Tahu kaitiaki to establish TMK in 2007, and funded research from 2007-2012 to establish a Marine Cultural Health Index.

Recent funding has been provided by the Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, Ministry for Primary Industries Customary Fishery Research Grants and the University of Otago’s Division of Sciences.

The Ministry of Fisheries now the Ministry of Primary Industries have contributed funds for work on toheroa population restoration to be directed by Ōraka-Aparima Rūnaka; and for pāua population restoration in the Akaroa Taiāpure, under the direction of Wairewa and Ōnuku Rūnanga; surveys of Koukourārata Mātaitai on Banks Peninsula and a survey of the scallop fisheries in Te Whaka a te Wera Mātaitai for local tangata tiaki/kaitiaki.

The Dunedin City Council and University of Otago’s Division of Sciences provided seed grants to enable researchers to meet kaitiaki, in order to form a relationship to establish the project.


Chris Hepburn, Marine Sciences Department, University of Otago
Office: 310 Castle Street, Room 144  |  Tel: 64 3 479 7462  |  Email: