Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitors the state of the region’s environment under multiple programmes. By capturing and interpreting data, we can plan, protect and sustainably manage our natural resources so our communities can thrive.

Below is a range of state of the environment reports and snapshots which show how healthy our air, land, freshwater, geothermal, coastal resources and biodiversity are.

We have created this dedicated page to share information on the state of our environment. Please click on each drop-down section for details across a range of measures. These are categorised according to our whakapapa framework, please see the image below to learn more.

The varying levels of detail under each reflect resource demand, pressures, or how quickly or slowly things change (e.g. rainfall and river levels can change hourly, bugs and fish in rivers can change over months or even years, and some deep groundwater can change over decades). We are committed to making environmental data and information as accessible as possible to the community, so please get in touch if we can assist further.

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Understanding the different levels of information

The number next to each document indicates the level of detail and complexity that it contains. This can help you find the right type of information to suit your needs. Please see the key below:

X1 = a simple summary or regional snapshot to provide a quick high level overview of the quality of the region’s resources. These are updated at least annually and can either be for a single resource (e.g. air quality, water quality) or for all resources.

X2 = an integrated report with more detail. These reports cover most or all resources (e.g. water quality, soil health, estuary health).

X3 = Technical information often presented as factsheets or story maps to help educate so you can upskill and get informed. These are for a single resource (e.g. air quality, water quality) and summarise the reports in X4.

X4 = Detailed discipline-specific technical information which reports technical results and/or evidence. These will be particularly useful for specialists who seek detailed insights on complex data. These reports are updated when there is enough new data – this can often be up to 10 years depending on how quickly things change.

Everything in our environment is interconnected. What affects one aspect of the taiao (environment) will have an impact in other areas. Nothing was meant to live in isolation, and so, the mauri (life force) of everything that exists in the taiao is all relative. Māori understood tohu (signs) given by the whenua (land), to enable the protection of our natural resources. If the land and the water is healthy, so too will the people be.

Ki uta ki tai (Mountains to Sea)

Maunga (mountains) are important landmarks as they are the first to be seen when entering a new rohe. From here, there would have been a clear line of sight to the sea, river or lakes which would provide kai (food) for the people.

Tāwhirimatea: Winds and storms

The natural elements and sky impact our daily experiences from the air we breathe to the weather we feel. Wind is an example of matangaro, the concept of what we cannot see but know exists because we can feel it or see its impact, like the wind rustling leaves in a tree. Understanding matangaro means we can consider more indicators when looking at the state of our taiao (environment).

Tāne: Forests and birds

Te Wao nui a Tāne is inclusive of all forests and birdlife. Pest eradication, and monitoring of the whenua will ensure the protection and preservation of our forests and birdlife.

Tangaroa: Sea, rivers and lakes

Ko au ko te awa, ko te awa ko au signifies the intrinsic connection between the waterways and people. Many of our iwi marae are positioned for their access to waterways.  Wai (water), if cared for, sustains all life. Wai is one of our most precious resources and this rohe (region) is fortunate to have abundant sources such as springs, rivers, lakes and the sea.

To learn about the Regional Council’s water-based initiatives and monitoring data, please view the following pages:

Rūaumoko: Earthquakes and volcanoes

Ngāwhā (geothermal springs) are a unique feature to the rohe of Te Moana o Toitehuatahi (Bay of Plenty). With the right mātauranga (knowledge), these can be cared for and utilised sustainably.