One of the Project's aspirations is to protect, encourage, and revitalise iwi traditions and relationships to te Taiao and wāhi tapu through targeted restoration, cultural participation and whānau employment. Ngāti Kuia are celebrated and respected as Mana Whenua and kaitiaki of Te Hoiere, and likewise, Rangitāne o Wairau as Mana Whenua of the Kaituna sub-catchment. These iwi have longstanding connections with the area as the first inhabitants to live within and care for the mauri of Te Hoiere land and waters.
To date, Project aspirations have turned into catchment actions through the mahi to restore Ruapaka Wetland, an initiative led by Ngāti Kuia near Canvastown. There are many ngā tohu whenua (sites of significance) with longstanding connections throughout the catchment, which are still celebrated by tangata whenua today.