Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa

At its heart, Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa is about building bridges between people and nature.

About the programme

Our Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao – Open Waters Aotearoa programme supports connections with science and local environments through exploration and discovery.

What is environmental DNA

Environmental DNA, or eDNA, refers to all the tiny traces of genetic material that is left behind as living things pass through water or soil.

How to collect and analyse eDNA

Because DNA is a tiny molecule found within the cells of living creatures (along with other molecular bits and bobs), you need special tools to pick up it up.

Explore eDNA on the map

Explore our eDNA map and discover the species around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Community feature stories

Each month our pānui (newsletter) includes a feature story from a group, hapū or school participating in Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao. We also showcase a unique critt…

Get involved

If you are part of a community group, hapū, or school and would like to explore and discover your local waterway using eDNA, get in touch!


Here you will find resources to help you make the most of Wai Tuwhera o te Taiao, including access to webinars and newsletters.