Research & Monitoring

We aim to build positive connections between kaitiaki and scientists, for the benefit of both. To do so, we facilitate research on tool development and projects that support communities in their journeys towards resource management.

Research Areas

Below find a brief overview on some of our research. Follow the links to find out more on the details and motivations behind this work and how communities use this information/data collection to support local management initiatives.

East Otago Taiāpure

Monitoring since 2008

Advice, scientific support for management committee since 2007

Pāua growth, reproductive output, genetics and habitat surveys since 2007

Permanent transects established for ongoing monitoring

Support provided for Environment Court Action by East Otago Taiāpure against disposal of dredge spoil by, since 2007

Over 30 postgraduate students have completed degrees within East Otago Taiāpure (PhD, Masters, Honours)

Pāua reseeding research and support for paua reseeding programme 2010-

University of Otago Marine Science & Physical Education Annual Field Courses

He Pataka Wai Ora Project- Management of the Waikouaiti River -2015/2016

Koukourārata Mātaitai

Ecosystem health survey -2010

Baseline Kaimoana surveys (paua, kina, mussels etc.)

Pāua Growth

Water quality sampling

Interviews of kaitiaki

Te Punawai o Tōriki Mātaitai

Baseline Kaimoana surveys (paua, kina, mussels etc.) 2008-

Pāua Growth

Water quality sampling

Baseline Paua Survey -2012

Pāua Reseeding -2013

Te Whaka a Te Wera Mātaitai

Pāua and habitat surveys -2015

Customary Scallop fishery surveys -2013

Scallop and epibenthic predator surveys -2014 student project

Scallop Movement studies -2014 student project

Monthly bivalve larvae recruitment monitoring -2014-2015 student project

Scientific advisor to managers

Reporting hui to management committee 2015

Waitutu Mātaitai

Baseline Pāua and habitat survey of proposed Mātaitai -2010

Pāua surveys -Ongoing

Scientific advisor to managers

Oreti Beach

Toheroa monitoring -2009

Impact of vehicles on Toheroa recruitment study -2009

Ākaroa Taiāpure

Fishing effort & success survey -2008

Moeraki Mātaitai

Baseline survey for shallow reef fisheries, focusing on Pāua (Haliotis iris)- 2016

Permanent monitoring sights allowing future assessment of fisheries- Ongoing

Waikawa / Tumu Toka Mātaitai

Pāua and habitat surveys -Ongoing

Tuaki surveys -Ongoing

Water quality monitoring -Ongoing

Tuna & native fish surveys and monitoring -Ongoing

Pātiki Surveys -Ongoing

Comparing customary and modern methods of monitoring fisheries -Ongoing

Opihi and Waitarakao Mātaitai

Water quality sampling

Monitoring of hīnaki sites

Nutrient sampling and analysis support -Ongoing

Rāpaki / Whakaraupō

Pāua and habitat surveys -2015

Pipi / Tuaki surveys -2015

Permanent transects established for ongoing monitoring

Water quality -2015

Support provided surrounding Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan and Harbour dredging proposals


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