From NatureWatch NZ to iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao

This past month has been a busy time for our team. As many of you know, we rebranded from NatureWatch NZ to iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao.

iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao is a place for New Zealanders to share what they see in nature, set up citizen science and community-based monitoring projects, meet other nature watchers, and learn about Aotearoa's unique natural history.

Our website is exactly as it was before, but with a new name, a new web address (, and more security.

We have always powered the website using a version of’s global, open source technology that we optimised to record observations within New Zealand. Many of you will already recognise the name iNaturalist as it is the free mobile application that you use to add observations on the go.

All observations, projects, species, people, maps and places remain exactly as they were before. They are regularly backed up and stored by our international partner, iNaturalist, at the California Academy of Sciences.

Your usernames and passwords remain the same — the only thing that has changed is the web address and our brand.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and enthusiasm over the years.

Together, more than 9,000 observers have made over half a million observations from across Aotearoa.

This extraordinary effort puts us on the global map as having the most observations per capita on the iNaturalist network.

Our flourishing community has not disappeared nor been merged into as the old website currently states. iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao retains its unique identity and continues to function as it always has.

Already, we are looking to the future and have exciting plans to expand our scope, relevance, and application — watch this space!

We are making every effort to minimise disruption caused by the rebranding. However, it is possible that our move has affected existing links, apps, and other services that were operating from the old domain name.

If you find any issues or require help, feel free to contact our support team ( for assistance.

We will post updates here our website blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Ngā mihi nui,

The team at New Zealand Bio-Recording Network Trust


Please note that we have no control over our old domain ( This means we are not responsible for any content posted there nor does it represent the views of the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network, iNaturalist NZ, or the global iNaturalist network. Some information posted on the old domain is potentially misleading and has no official connection to the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network Trust that operates iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao (formerly known as NatureWatch NZ).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who runs iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao (previously NatureWatch NZ)?

iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao is managed by the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network Trust (NZBRN Trust), a registered Charitable Trust in New Zealand.

What does Mātaki Taiao mean?

Mātaki Taiao is our Māori name and translates to watching nature. The word Mātaki means to gaze, watch, inspect, examine, or observe. Taiao translates to the natural world around us.

What happens to existing NatureWatch NZ links?

All previous links are now broken. Any links or widgets to the old website will need to be updated.

This can be done simply by replacing “” with “” in any web address.

For example:


If you have a large number of links to update, consider using the “find and replace” function.

What is and the iNaturalist Network? is a hosted citizen science platform operated from the California Academy of Sciences and co-owned by National Geographic. developers maintain the code base that operates iNaturalist NZ and our server, which securely stores your data. They also develop the mobile application that is used by iNaturalist NZ users.

iNaturalist NZ is one of a growing number of international partners in the iNaturalist Network.

Am I subscribed to iNaturalist NZ (formerly NatureWatch NZ) or

Most users in New Zealand are using iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao. If you signed up using the iNaturalist app, you will have seen a pop-up window asking whether you would like to use the localised app. By agreeing, you signed up to iNaturalist NZ (formerly NatureWatch NZ).

However, users who didn’t agree to localise their app, or who first signed up at, are not officially part of the iNaturalist NZ community. This means we do not have access to their email addresses and have not been able to contact them directly about these changes. Please feel free to forward this email on and help us spread the word.

If you’re not sure whether you are part of the iNaturalist NZ — Mātaki Taiao community, visit your Account Settings on the iNaturalist NZ website (located by clicking your user icon on the top-right menu) and look at the “iNaturalist Network Affiliation” section.

How can I find iNaturalist NZ on social media?

We have updated our username, which means the links to find our social media profiles have changed. Our official Facebook page is now and our official Twitter is now

The content and community remain the same. We will continue to use these pages to share official updates, news, and observations.

If you want to share your observations or get a species identified, please share it on the iNaturalist NZ website or use the iNaturalist app so our community of experts can help.

What is a domain?

All websites require a domain name and a server. The content of the website is hosted on the server and the domain name points people to that information through a web address (URL).

The iNaturalist NZ website (which includes all observations, projects, species, people, maps and places) is securely hosted on the iNaturalist servers.

Where can I read more about the rebranding?

You can read more about the shift to our new brand on the on our previous blog post. Check for updates here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted on July 01, 2018 10:18 AM by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan


We're getting ready to send out the text of the above blog to all users via email to make sure that everyone is aware of the recent brand changes. Plus, now with our shiny new Maori name, Mātaki Taiao!

Posted by jon_sullivan about 6 years ago

Kia ora koutou katoa :)

I am the one that suggested Mātaki Taiao and some Maori Language experts also had a few suggestions. After a vote my suggestion was accepted. As a member of NW ( hmm I suppose I should use MT now which is easier than iNatNZ) , instead of approaching the Maori Name from a "translation" view, I also looked at the concepts behind Nature Watch and what we actually spend thousands of hours doing :D

While alot of members photograph flora and fauna mainly from whenua, I do alot of obs from the moana as well. Because of that I choose Taiao, reflecting the natural world around me / us - and that is all I see at home as I live in the bush overlooking the moana!

Mātaki was chosen not only because of the watch, but also because of the observe and examine aspects, and we all know the hours we have spent just watching critters and observing them!

Native bees are fascinating and quite mesmerizing. I am lucky that on my property I have walls of manuka and under there the native bees live, so when there are flowers I can spend hours just observing their habits - then I remember to take a photo or two! I have seen wasps dragging insects backwards to their lair, hermit crabs fighting, ika eating koura and did you know that ika - fish - sleep on their side like a patiki - flounder - at night? I kid you not and have the photos to prove it! LOL (And tamure - snapper in their stripped pajamas at night, not the usual silver they wear during the day) All of this is more than watching to me, it is observing who does what, how and where and why.

I use the examine aspect for the plants, as I have to examine the fruits of some plants to be able to get to species level - for example sea rockets (Genus Cakile). Examining the tide lines also gives me an idea of what lives where in that section of moana - I don't watch the tide line - I examine it :)

So hopefully you will now have a greater understanding of Mātaki Taiao as it is so much more than a translation of our old Nature Watch :)

Any questions - do not hesitate to ask :)

Posted by tangatawhenua about 6 years ago

@tangatawhenua terrific stuff! Thanks for that elegant explanation.

Note that we now have At the moment it redirects to

We've started talking with the iNat developers in California about how big a job it will be to translate the site into Maori. Is that something you'd like to be involved with? We'd love to see it happen.

Tēnā koe!

Posted by jon_sullivan about 6 years ago

Tena koe Jon :)

Like the redirect from to iNatNZ - then I tried an ordinary link ( and changed the to and got an error message. When I removed the https I got the right page, so maybe a redirect from https would be a good idea :)

I don't mind helping out where I can with translations - as long as it does not cut too far into my MT time! I am arriving back home next week and I am going to be flatout roaming my whenua and moana for a while to reaquaint myself with what is around me and maybe finally catch an orchid in flower on my own property that I have not been home at flowering time for yet! LOL

Posted by tangatawhenua about 6 years ago

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments