In the Field
Kei Roto i te Hapori
When applying the CHI in the field, members of the team will visit selected sites in a catchment and look over a reach of the waterway from one point. The field team will also walk along the river bank and view the river upstream and downstream from the selected site, visually assessing the health of the site. While they are doing this they will be filling in an assessment form and recording their observations according to the questions on the form.
If the preparatory work has been done well, the fieldwork should run smoothly. It will take approximately one hour to view the site and complete the assessment form.
Once at the site the coordinator needs to:
- Keep instructions clear and interpretation
to a minimum so as not to influence perception or scoring.
each individual a number with which to label their assessment
form at each site. It is important that they use the same number
duration of the study.
- Hand out a new recording form to each team
member at each site. Each person on the team will be recording
their individual assessment of the
indicators listed on the recording form. For each site a form
will be completed by each team member (the average for each indicator
is calculated later when analysis is carried out). Each team
will complete a new form at each site.
- The site details need to
be added first (e.g. the name and number of the site, the team
member’s number, the date etc).
- Once the forms are complete,
check them before moving on. It is often hard to recall aspects
of a site after leaving it. Clarify species names,
for example, on site.
- Once checked, collect all forms from the
site and store them together until data entry.
- Before moving
on from the site, get the team together for a feedback session
during which members can discuss issues that arose during the
recording. The coordinator can indicate the range of scores awarded
can foster agreement between team members. Striving for consistency
in this way is part of the ongoing nature of the team training,
so it is important to have a feedback session after each site
Collecting fish data
As part of the data collection for mahinga kai, it is necessary to identify the fish species present at the site. Collection of these data can take place at any stage before, during or after the field assessment is carried out.
This can be achieved by electric fishing, netting or through a combination of
methods. Your regional council may have already sampled the sites
that you have chosen or data may be available from the New Zealand
Freshwater Fish Database managed by the National Institute of Water
and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). [How to access the NZ Freshwater Fish Database is described in Appendix 8.] Check with both your regional council and the Department of Conservation before
you commit to any new fish data collection.