The project is scheduled to run for up to eight years. The first four years will be devoted to an intensive study of the pre-European economic sub-system of human culture in the Cook Strait region and the interactions between Maori and European during the early stages of European settlement. In the following four years the research will examine issues of trade and exchange of stone resources such as argillite, nephrite and obsidian across Cook Strait, and inter-group communication and conflict in Maori society in this region.
The Foundation for Research Science and Technology has granted NZ$147,600 per annum +GST for two years to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to support this programme of research. This contract will run from July 1 1998 to June 30 2000, and will support research on human economy, in particular on pre-European fishing and shellfishing in the Cook Strait region.
Collaborating staff at the University of Otago are seeking funds to support the research on historic archaeology of Cook Strait, as well as providing research students to assist with excavations and field surveys.
Funds are also being sought to support the ethnoarchaeological research into kumara gardening and fern root gathering. This research will be carried out by Ngati Hinewaka hapuu of southern Wairarapa.