Kei Hea ngā Papaka is a marine biosecurity project grounded in mātauranga Māori principles to support whānau and hapū kaitiaki in Tauranga.
The groups connect together to reduce the numbers of the very aggressive Asian Paddle crab which is trying to outcompete the local native crab (papaka), a taonga for the iwi of Tauranga. Not only do they compete with our native crabs but they also feed on shellfish such as pipi, tuatua and cockles.
It has connected kaitiaki from Tauranga Moana, Patuharakeke, Ngāti Kuri as well as researchers from Auckland and Waikato University, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, NIWA and Manaaki Te Awanui.
The groups work together to improve best practice methods for marine pest crab surveillance. Their awesome mahi is being recognised in the 2021 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, where they are finalists – CONGRATULATIONS!