Maori Ph. D advocates for new approach to improve Water Quality

By Bronson Perich, Piripi Taylor

A Māori Water Ph. D has called for a complete overhaul on the way that we test Water Quality in Aotearoa.

Speaking with Piripi Taylor today, Dr Leonie Jones (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) spoke of the pitfalls of our current monitoring methods.

“Well, the problem is, at the moment, we’re taking a snapshot approach, so we don’t really know, you know, its, its like, if we got diabetes, if we take a test once a month, do we really know how healthy we are?”

The key, Jones stated was not so much in building new technology, but in using current technology better.

“…you know, the technology is here, we just need to be able to use it effectively”.

Along with using what we already have, she called for an increase in the frequency that we monitor water.

“…we should monitor every day, every hour, every kilometre across a whole catchment so that we can track the changes in the water quality across the whole catchment”.

While it was important to track the impact of farming fertilisers and chemicals on the wai, Jones also spoke the importance of not only monitoring what is in the water, but also, the health of the water itself by checking water flow, water depth and tepidity.

Jones has worked on monitoring the Waikato River and builds water monitoring sensors.