Mouri Tūroa 

Mouri Tūroa
He taihono tangata ki tona awa, ki tona whenua, ki tona ora

Che Wilson, Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trustee

Mouri Tūroa Programme

Mouri Tūroa is a new initiative designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River and to create nature-based employment opportunities for uri.

Erosion is widespread in the catchment and the high sediment loads have an adverse impact on water quality and freshwater biodiversity.

Mouri Tūroa is funded by the government's Jobs for Nature fund and is a four-year programme of works which aims to mitigate soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance biodiversity within the Whanganui River catchment.  

To address these impacts, the programme of activity will consist of five broad workstreams:

  • Waterway protection through fencing, native planting, and maintenance
  • Freshwater fish bio-diversity habitat restoration
  • Animal and plant pest control to protect plantings
  • Eco-sourced native tree nurseries

A key aspect of the project is connecting whānau and hapū to Te Awa Tupua and the whenua through employment, utilising a workforce that is found at place in the communities where work is to be undertaken.

The strategic objectives include:

  • building knowledge and skills amongst uri.
  • providing exposure to traditional practices in relation to land management, river health and well-being
  • increasing insight and experience in biodiversity within hapu and across Te Awa Tupua
  • providing whanau and hapu led solutions
  • Job creation and community engagement

Reclaiming our tikanga practices

Our unique approach not only creates nature-based employment opportunities for uri, but it also seeks to restore and reclaim tikanga associated with our Taiao, ngāhere and waterways.

This framework encompasses all the values of Tupua Te Kawa and it will see the bridging of knowledge and practice across the breadth of Te Awa Tupua to support the revitalisation of things such as:

  • rongoa Maori, water quality, land management practices;
  • reclamation of heritage food and customary practice in food production and preparation; and
  • protection of nga taonga tuku iho, our knowledge, practices and beliefs and protection of the lands and plantings from predators.
Mouri Turoa diagram

The Whanganui River Catchment

The Whanganui River is the longest navigable river in Aotearoa at 290 km, covering a catchment of 7,380 km².

The iwi within the catchment include Whanganui Iwi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rereahu, Ngāti Maru, Ngā Rauru Kītahi, Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Ruanui.

Current Opportunities

Landowners Expressions of Interest

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki is seeking expressions from landowners, hapū and marae who live alongside the Whanganui River or its tributaries where their lands bordering these waterways require fencing, riparian planting, weed and pest control.  

If your lands require support in these things and you would like to work alongside Ngā Tāngata Tiaki to improve the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua please fill in the Online Expression of Interest form:

Landowners submit interest


Contractors Expressions of Interest

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki is seeking expressions from contractors who live and work within our Whanganui River catchment. The Contractors need to be committed to creating employment opportunities and building the knowledge and skills of those employed.

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki is calling for expressions of interests from contractors who can support us to complete this ambitious four-year programme that includes;

  • Fencing 290 kilometres of the waterways
  • Riparian planting of over 600,000 plants
  • Pest and weed control; and
  • Developing place-based nurseries that can eventually support the riparian planting and other ambitions of whānau and hapū.

If you want to register your interest, please fill in the Online Expression of Interest form:

Contractors submit interest

Get in touch with us

Our dedicated project team includes:

  • Mouri Tūroa Project lead: Gordon Cribb
  • Contract Engagement: Tukariri Dryden
  • Landowner Engagement: Gordon Cribb (Upper reaches, Middle reaches), Te Aroha McDonnell (Lower reaches)
  • Nursery Engagement: Bubby Tamakehu
  • Seed sourcing: Kimmy Ranginui

If you have any questions about the programme or if you are interested in being involved, please don't hesitate to contact the Mouri Tūroa team here or on 0800 AWA TUPUA

Frequently Asked Questions

Mouri Tūroa is available for landowners along the river, including multiply-owned Māori land, Trusts and Incorporations and private lands. For more questions about whether this kaupapa is for you, check out the following FAQ's.

  • What support is available to landowners through Mouri Tūroa? Shape Created with Sketch.

    Our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River by protecting the waterways and reducing sediment loads in the Awa.

    Landowners and marae who have lands that adjoin the Whanganui River or its tributaries could be eligible for the following support from Mouri Tūroa:

    • Riparian fencing
    • Riparian planting
    • Pest and Weed control to protect seedlings
    • Maintenance – fencing
  • How do I get support through Mouri Tūroa? Shape Created with Sketch.

    In order to streamline the process, we require all landowners and interested contractors to complete an Expression of Interest form and provide as much detail as possible. You can find it here.

    The Mouri Tūroa team will contact you to discuss your application and whether it fits within our scope. This may be followed by a site visit to build the work plan together.

    Mouri Tūroa has identified contractors to then carry out the work.

  • I own land adjoining the Whanganui River or one of its tributaries. Is Mouri Tūroa for me? Shape Created with Sketch.

    If you have new plans to fence or riparian plant on your whenua along the waterways, we want to hear from you!

    This is an opportunity for landowners along the river, including multiply-owned Māori land, Trusts and Incorporations and private lands.

    Unfortunately, Mouri Tūroa may not be able to support you to develop projects where works have already begun. Complete the landowner Expression of Interest form to find out if you are eligible.

  • Can I get funding from Mouri Tūroa to do my own riparian planting or fencing? Shape Created with Sketch.

    Mouri Tūroa is legally required to ensure strict health and safety processes are met at all times.

    Therefore, only our verified contractors can carry out works under Mouri Tūroa.

    This ensures the safety of everyone involved and reduces liability for Mouri Tūroa.

  • I want to develop a nursery on my whenua – can I do that through Mouri Tūroa? Shape Created with Sketch.

    Mouri Tūroa is focused on supporting further development of already established nurseries along the Whanganui River.

    It is not within our scope to establish new nurseries on whenua along the Awa.

  • How do I get a job through Mouri Tūroa? What opportunities are there for me? Shape Created with Sketch.

    A key goal for Mouri Tūroa is to build capacity amongst uri and create nature-based employment for those who live up the river.

    It is expected that more than 60 jobs will be created over the next four years by this work programme. There will also be opportunities to train and upskill.

    We are identifying contractors who will take on employed apprenticeships with rangatahi to build their skills and also gain relevant qualifications such as;

    • Weed control
    • Pest control
    • Fencing
    • Quad bike license
    • Gun license

    We are focused on supporting reconnection with the Awa through meaningful employment and will prioritise workers who live at place where the work is needed.


Do you whakapapa to the Whanganui River? Would you and your whānau like to be registered on the Whanganui Iwi Database? What does that mean?

It means that you get sent pānui and updates on kaupapa related to the Whanganui River and Te Awa Tupua, the people and the river from the Mountains to the Sea. You can also apply for the different grants that are advertised on our website and facebook page.

If you are already on the database and need to up date your details please head to the database or send us an email at