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Kopuaroa Catchment in the BOP Kopuaroa Catchment in the BOP

Kopuaroa Catchment

We’re working together with locals to improve water quality in the Kopuaroa Stream and the Kaituna River and Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi / Maketu Estuary that it drains into.

mapWater sampling and science work we’ve completed in recent years has found that current levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), sediment, and E. coli bacteria are compromising the health and wellbeing of the Kopuaroa Stream, downstream waterways, and the wildlife and people they sustain.

The Kopuaroa Stream is a small tributary of the Kaituna River. Its catchment spans an area (outlined red in the map below) between the foothills of the Ōtawa ranges, Te Rae o Pāpāmoa Hills Regional Park, and Te Puke. The map below shows the Kopuaroa catchment area outlined in red.

The now–drained plains of the lower catchment were once part of a vast 6,000 hectare wetland taonga (treasure), that was prized by tangata whenua for the tūna (eels), flax and kahikatea forests that lived there.

At unnaturally high levels, nutrients such as N and P can promote excess algae growth in waterways; depleting oxygen levels and degrading wildlife habitat. High levels of E.coli bacteria in waterways can make people sick if they swim in or gather kai from the water.

We’ve increased our science and monitoring efforts in the catchment and begun investigations to identify specific contaminant sources. We’re also contacting landowners and inviting them to work with us on reducing land run-off from their properties.

We’ll be developing more detailed actions, based on our investigations and further discussions with tangata whenua, landowners, and other locals about cultural values, matauranga Maori (traditional knowledge), land-use practices, and natural processes in the catchment.

Summerhills Farm leading the way

Local landowner, Gabrielle Walton is doing her bit for the Kopuaroa catchment by making improvements at her Summerhill Farm property. She already had plans for environmental restoration work on her block, but we’ve helped her to extend those plans, save money, and get the work done faster.

Through a Regional Council Environmental Programme, we’ve helped to fund and organise some of the work on Gabrielle’s property including plant and animal pest control, restoration of a 1 hectare wetland, 990 metres of streamside fencing and the planting of 5,500 native trees and shrubs that will reduce contaminant run-off into waterways.

One of the Summerhill Farm areas recently fenced and planted to improve water quality in the Kopuaroa catchment.

We offer practical advice and funding subsidies of up to 100 percent to help landowners complete works on their properties that can improve water quality in the Kopuaroa catchment.

Eligible works include activities such as fencing, planting, nutrient budgeting, farm planning, detention bunds and treatment wetlands.  To find out more, please contact our local Land Management Officer Richard Lyons – see contact details below.

If you have questions, or would like to get involved, please contact our local Land Management Officer Tegan Arnold on 027 216 7528 or