Cultural Health Indices

Ensuring Māori ways of understanding the natural world are included and recognised within environmental monitoring and reporting systems.

Useful Links:





Tipa, G. & Tierney, L. (2006). Using the Cultural Health Index: How to assess the health of streams and waterways
Link here >> 





Linkages between cultural and scientific indicators of river and stream health
Link here >> 


Cultural Health Indices (CHIs) help bridge the gap between iwi and natural resource managers by providing tangata whenau with a tool to assess the cultural and biological well being of a resource, and then to integrate these findings with resource management practices.

Tipa and Tierney (2006) defined the aims of a CHI as:

  • “To provide a way for Māori to take an active role in managing freshwater resources;
  • To provide an opportunity for resource management agencies to discuss and incorporate Māori perspectives and values for stream health in management decisions.” (Tipa and Tierney 2006).

So far, most CHIs have focused on freshwater natural resources – often important whanau and hapū mahinga kai sites. Using CHIs to measure and document any important features, changes, or problems of a valued resource, such as a stream or wetlands, can help tangata whenua to participate in management decisions in ways which are meaningful to them, and strengthen relationships with other resource managers. CHIs can also help to build understanding of what features of a resource different groups value, and why one group may have different management goals to another.

In short CHIs can assist with greater participation, understanding and relationships. They are useful tools to consider when thinking about how to include cultural values in natural resource management.

Key idea: Cultural Health Indices help tangata whenua participate in meaningful resource management decisions.


Suspendisse fringilla metus »
December 12, 2012

News article »
December 12, 2012


test »

Proactive »

Subscribe to eNEWS

Aenean nec nibh augue, at tincidunt elit. Nullam dui elit, tincidunt non faucibus… »