The underlying ethos of ‘nature’s benefits’ contributing to human wellbeing provides a common platform for understanding the function and value of biodiversity for stakeholders. Diverse societal worldviews however create differences in the way cultures relate to and understand the environment. The objective of this study was to identify community-based indicators and metrics used by Ma¯ori in New Zealand to monitor forest health and community wellbeing. Eighty semi-directed interviews were conducted with 55 forest users within the Tuawhenua tribal group to identify forest health indicators and associated gradient of metrics to assess each indicator. Indicators were grouped within nine culturally-relevant themes: (1) food procurement (mahinga kai), (2) natural productivity (hua o te whenua), (3) nature of water (a¯hua o te wai), (4) nature of the land (a¯hua o te whenua), (5) nature of the forest (a¯hua o te ngahere), (6) perpetual occupation of land and place (ahikaaroa), (7) spiritual dimension (taha wairua), (8) physical health (taha kiko kiko), and (9) mental health (taha hinengaro). Within these themes, indicators and asso ciated metrics were aligned within two monitoring approaches: field survey and interview based. Community members (n = 35 individuals) were asked to prioritise field survey indicators using a seven point Likert Scale of importance. A second survey was also conducted with Tuawhenua elders (n = 43 individuals) to determine changes in the fre quency of forest use by the community. A decline in the proportion of the community venturing into the forest over the last 60 years for activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, and collecting plant resources was reported. This decline in regular forest use suggests a field survey approach would be an effective method for applying community based indicators and to gain an understanding of forest health. Forest indicators that are evaluated over a longer timeframe (months, seasons or even years), or those indicators aligned with community wellbeing, would be better evaluated using an interview-based approach. The alignment of some community-based indicators with scientific-based measures would enrich and deepen knowledge about the state of biodiversity, broaden the relevance of monitoring and reporting within indigenous communities, and help to mitigate issues of ‘shifting baselines’.