At one time the lower Taieri wetlands were an important resource for local Māori, with kāika (settlements) near Henley (Omoua, Maitapapa, and Takaaihiau) and Momona (Paritaniwha), as well as Whakaraupuka (Ram Island) within Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/SinclairWetlands. The wetlands produced an abundance of eels, whitebait, flounders, and waterfowl.
Mahinga kai relates to a place where traditional food and natural resources were (and can be) obtained. Thus the wetlands also provided plant materials for food, weaving, and clothing: notably raupō, harakeke, and tī kōuka(cabbage tree).
Nowadays, the wetlands act as an important habitat for tuna (mainly short-finned eels), inanga (whitebait), and ducks (allowing seasonal duck hunting). The wetlands remain a habitat for other creatures, and we have stories to tell also about kōkopu, kōura, kanakana, and kākahi.
A major aim of Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands Trust is to protect, restore, and promote the spiritual, physical, ecological, cultural, and other values of the land and water, while also allowing for harvest of natural resources.