We’re making Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi/Maketū Estuary healthier for people to swim and fish in.

We're restoring at least 20 percent of the Kaituna River's freshwater flows into the estuary. We’ll also be re-creating 20 hectares of wetlands around the estuary margin, to help filter nutrients and create breeding areas for birds and fish.

Project updates and monitoring

Project progress and monitoring results will be reported on annually and updates will be given to the community at quarterly public meetings. Follow this project or subscribe to our e-newsletter below to receive occasional email updates.

The last public update meeting and construction site tour was held on  13 February 2019.  The date for next community update meeting has yet to be confirmed but is likely to be in May 2019. Check back on this page for details closer to the time.

Resource consent documents

Kaituna River Re-diversion and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Enhancement Project Notice of Requirement and Resource Consent Application, lodged July 2014:

Volume A: Assessment of Environmental Effects

Volume B: Technical Reports

Volume C: Drawing Set

Further information:

Post lodgement documents:

Assessment of Environmental Effects

Hearing documents

Agenda for 4-8 May hearing on resource consents and NOR applications:

Evidence briefs from project team

Technical reports that are available by contacting the Bay of Plenty Regional Council:

  • 1986 Bay of Plenty Catchment Commission Maketu Estuary Study Stage 1 Report KRTA 1986 (Objective id A1640741)
  • 1987 Julie Burton Thesis on Maketu Estuary tidal inlet hydraulics and stability (Objective id A1698891)
  • Ecology and Geomorphology of Maketu Estuary Bay of Plenty Thesis of Kenneth Murray 1978 Up to chapter 6 (Objective id A1671822)
  • Ecology and Geomorphology of Maketu Estuary Bay of Plenty Thesis Kenneth Murray 1978 Chapter 7 to end (Objective id A1671885)
  • Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Modelling of the lower Kaituna River and Mektu Estuary Thesis by Nigel David Goodhue (Objective id A73847
  • Kaituna River to Maketu Estuary Re-diversion Report Model Calibration and Initial Hydrodynamic Impact Assessment January 2009 (Objective id A226068)
  • Maketu Estuary Environmental Issues and Options Commission for the Environment Wellington NZ 1984 (Objective id A1637550)
  • Maketu Estuary Restoration Strategy A Proposal to Central and local Government Coordinated by Department of Conservation March 1989 (Objective id A1629567)

Project goal

The goal of the Kaituna River Re-diversion and Estuary Enhancement Project is to significantly increase the volume of water (particularly fresh water) flowing from the Kaituna River into Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi/Maketū Estuary by 2018 in a way that maximises the ecological and cultural benefits (particularly wetlands and kaimoana) while limiting the economic cost and adverse environmental effects to acceptable levels.

The proposed re-diversion will maximise the flow into the estuary while keeping Te Tumu cut open for flood protection and boating access.

Key contact

For questions, complaints or feedback about this project, please contact the Project Manager, Pim de Monchy, on 0800 884 881 ext 8518 or use the feedback form below.

Kaituna river and Ford's cut

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PROJECT CREATED

15 Nov 2017

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Project Updates

14 days ago

Project reaches another milestone

The Kaituna River rediversion project marked a significant milestone on 26 June, with the opening of the first of 12 culverts to restore freshwater flows into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi / Maketu Estuary.

Project reaches another milestone

The Kaituna River rediversion project marked a significant milestone on 26 June, with the opening of the first of 12 culverts to restore freshwater flows into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi / Maketu Estuary.

Ngati Whakaue ki Maketu kaumatua Liam Tapsell led karakia to mark the occasion, accompanied by Te Maru o Kaituna chairman Dean Flavell, contractors and Regional Council project leaders.

The first culvert returns the flow to the level present before construction began. At the end of this year, the majority of the 12 culverts will be opened, significantly increasing the re-diverted flow (this is called Stage 1 Commissioning). These increased flows will be monitored for 12 months before full commissioning of all the culverts, which will restore 20 percent of the Kaituna River’s historic flow to the estuary.

The $16m project remains six months ahead of its scheduled completion date.

16 days ago

Huge thanks for planting day support

Around 4,500 seedlings are putting down roots in the Ford Road wetland, Te Pa Ika, after the community got behind the Bay of Plenty Regional Council planting days held in late June, in conjunction with Sustainable Coastlines.

Huge thanks for planting day support

Around 4,500 seedlings are putting down roots in the Ford Road wetland, Te Pa Ika, after the community got behind the Bay of Plenty Regional Council planting days held in late June, in conjunction with Sustainable Coastlines.

Fifty-five people attended the public day, following a great effort at the rangatahi day, which saw 190 students put in 2,000 plants.

2 months ago

Community update meeting

The next Community Update Meeting will be at 5.30pm Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at Tukotahi Marae, 83 Ford Road.

Community update meeting

Meeting details: 5.30pm Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at Tukotahi Marae, 83 Ford Road.

Work to partially redivert the Kaituna River and make Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketū Estuary healthier is progressing well, and ahead of schedule. Interested community members are invited to attend Wednesday’s meeting to hear the latest project updates from Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Please note: With winter upon us, there will be no site tour. The format of the meeting is a presentation followed by questions.

4 months ago

Kaituna River re-diversion passes halfway milestone

J Swap Contractors and the project team continue to make excellent progress and are on track for Stage 1 commissioning of the new culverts before Christmas, about six months ahead of schedule.

Kaituna River re-diversion passes halfway milestone

J Swap Contractors and the project team continue to make excellent progress and are on track for Stage 1 commissioning of the new culverts before Christmas, about six months ahead of schedule.

Current works include the boat ramp upgrade, wetland shaping, new channel rip-rap placement, fabrication of the stainless steel control gates and construction of the Coastguard’s new berth.

This site flyover by Courtney Bell, taken on 18 March, beautifully captures the scale of the works.

8 months ago

Kaituna River re-diversion ahead of schedule

Construction work on the Kaituna River re-diversion project is now about one-third of the way through and progressing well ahead of schedule.

Read the December 2018 Newsletter.

9 months ago

Kaituna bar camera goes live

A new camera has been installed above Bay of Plenty’s most dangerous bar - the Kaituna Cut, giving boaties an up-to-date look at the bar conditions.

Kaituna bar camera goes live

A new camera has been installed above Bay of Plenty’s most dangerous bar - the Kaituna Cut, giving boaties an up-to-date look at the bar conditions.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbourmaster Peter Buell says this is good news for boating safety as crossing a bar is one of the riskiest things you’ll ever do on a boat.

“Bar crossings can be dangerous due to the often shallow water, breaking seas and reduced stability.

“This live feed will help boaties judge the conditions, especially with the current works happening as part of the Kaituna re-diversion project, affecting access to the groyne and fishing platform.”

Not only will the bar be safer, there’s also added convenience, says Harbourmaster Buell.

“Previously the only way to view the conditions was by physically visiting the bar, so people travelling some distances would arrive at the mouth of the Kaituna River and then realise it’s too dangerous to cross. This would sometime lead to some bad decisions”

The idea for the camera has long been in the pipeline for Regional Council and was helped by Trustpower who provided the internet service. You can view the live feed and check out advice on how to safely cross a bar at www.boprc.govt.nz/barcam.

11 months ago

River improvement targets exceeded

More than 136 kilometres of Bay of Plenty waterway margins have been protected from stock access in the past year through riparian management partnerships between private landowners and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

River improvement targets exceeded

More than 136 kilometres of Bay of Plenty waterway margins have been protected from stock access in the past year through riparian management partnerships between private landowners and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

“Riparian management programmes are just one of many tools we’re using to protect and improve local water quality and river health. We had an annual target of 101 kilometres of waterway margin protection for the 2017/18 year and it’s great to have exceeded that. The extra gains have mainly been in the Rangitāiki, Eastern Bay and Kaituna catchments where they were needed most,” said Regional Council Integrated Catchments Manager Chris Ingle.

World Rivers Day (23 September) highlights the importance of caring for the world’s waterways. Mr Ingle said that everyone has a role to play in keeping rivers clean and healthy.

“Regional Council offers practical advice, assistance and funding subsidies of up to 50 percent through its Riparian Management Programmes, to encourage property owners to make changes on their land that will improve water quality.

“Our other river care work includes management of freshwater pests such as salvinia (an invasive aquatic weed), proactive pollution risk audits, and several large-scale wetland restoration projects that will also help to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.

“We’ve also set new targets for improving swimmability in some of the region’s most popular but troubled swimming spots, including Kaiate Falls and Ngongotahā Stream, this year. All the best practice methods for reducing E.coli bacteria levels in those places have already been tried, so we’re bringing in specialist expertise and exploring innovative new solutions to bring those locations up to swimmable standards,” Mr Ingle said.

Further information and access to updates about Regional Council’s work to care for the region’s waterways is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/freshwaterfutures

12 months ago

New spots for Kaituna whitebaiters

Regional Council staff are encouraging whitebaiter fishers to also look for new options with the opening of the whitebait fishing season this week.

New spots for Kaituna whitebaiters

While local fishermen have settled in to new spots for boat launching and surfcasting since the temporary closure of Ford Road took effect on 1 August, Regional Council staff are encouraging whitebaiter fishers to also look for new options with the opening of the whitebait fishing season this week.

“We’ve tried to let as many people as possible know about the road closure, but it may still come as a surprise for some whitebaiters that haven’t visited since last year,” said Kaituna Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy.

Access to the lower Kaituna River via Ford Road is currently closed until 20 December 2018, due to Kaituna River re-diversion construction works.  Access to Ford’s Cut and the stop banks on either side of the Cut will remain closed until the construction project is completed in June 2020. The Bell Road boat ramp remains open for people to launch onto the Kaituna River.

“Changes to flows through Ford’s Cut will make it less suitable for whitebait during the construction period, so fish numbers will be low there anyway. The re-diversion project will improve fish habitat and the health of Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary in the long term. In the short term, whitebaiters will need to try some new fishing spots nearby. 

"The lower ends of the Kaikokopu, Pongakawa and Wharere Streams can all be accessed via public roads, as can the Maketū and Waihī Estuary entrances. If people are prepared to walk, they can also get to the Kaituna River through the Lower Kaituna Wildlife Management Reserve on Pah Road,” Mr de Monchy said.

Mr de Monchy said that the partial restoration of freshwater flows from the Kaituna River into Maketū Estuary is just one of the many projects underway that will benefit whitebaiters over time.

“Whitebait species spend most of their lives in freshwater rivers and streams. We’re working with landowners to identify and reduce run-off sources, restore wetlands, plant stream margins, and take other steps to restore water quality and fish habitat that has been degraded through historic land use change.

"In the past year we’ve delivered 22 riparian improvement projects in the Kaituna Pongakawa catchments; protecting 33km of waterways, in partnership with landowners. Those projects have included work to improve the spawning and rearing habitat of inanga which is the main species in whitebait catches here,” he said.

13 months ago

Ford Road fish take a break

Ford Road access to Te Tumu Cut and Maketū Spit will be closed from 1 August until 20 December, to enable construction work that will restore 600,000 cubic metres of freshwater flows into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary on every tidal cycle.

Ford Road fish take a break

Ford Road access to Te Tumu Cut and Maketū Spit will be closed from 1 August until 20 December, to enable construction work that will restore 600,000 cubic metres of freshwater flows into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary on every tidal cycle.

“We know the area is popular with fishers and we’re really sorry for the inconvenience. But this project will benefit them in the long run with improved facilities, estuary health, and kaimoana (fish and shellfish) habitat,” said Bay of Plenty Regional Council Kaituna Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy.

Ford Road is scheduled to re-open in time for Christmas fishing, but the Ford Road boat ramp will remain closed until construction work is completed in June 2020. White-baiting in Ford’s Cut will also be affected until June 2020, due to restricted water flow and stop bank access throughout the construction period. Bell Road boat ramp will remain open throughout the construction period.

Mr de Monchy said that existing levels of boat access through Te Tumu Cut (also known as the Kaituna Cut) will be maintained once the project is complete. He said that flood protection levels will also remain the same for properties in the Kaituna Catchment Scheme and Maketū township.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is funding and delivering the $16m Kaituna River re-diversion project that was first called for by the community in 1979. Construction work started in June this year. The project includes creation of an 800m long new channel to carry fresh water from the river, through a new enlarged diversion control structure and down a widened Ford’s Cut, into the estuary. Existing stop banks will be shifted and upgraded.

about 2 years ago

Kaituna Korero e-newsletter

Latest news about the project can be found in this newsletter.

Meeting notes: Workshop 6

Briefing notes and meeting notes from the group's sixth workshop, held on 20 September are now available online.

The group discussed catchment modelling assumptions and scenarios, They also explored land and water use values.

 

about 2 years ago

Sod turned on $16m river project

More than 100 people, including representatives from six Te Arawa iwi gathered at Tukotahi Marae yesterday, beside the Kaituna River, to celebrate the start of construction works that will return freshwater flows from the river into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary.

Sod turned on $16m river project

More than 100 people, including representatives from six Te Arawa iwi gathered at Tukotahi Marae yesterday, beside the Kaituna River, to celebrate the start of construction works that will return freshwater flows from the river into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary.

Ngāti Whakaue kaumatua Liam Tapsell started the celebration by thanking Bay of Plenty Regional Council Project Manager Pim de Monchy and his team for their collaboration with Te Arawa whanui and the local community in bringing the project to fruition.

“Let us celebrate and honour the spiritual essence of the Kaituna and the estuary Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi,” he said.

Regional Councillor and Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority member Arapeta Tahana acknowledged the work of Aroha Wilkinson, the Maketū Action Group, and the wider community in their work since the late 1970s to get the river re-diverted back into the estuary.

“I’m really pleased that as a community and as a nation we’re realising the impacts of some of the things we’ve done to the land and the waterways in the past. We’re now making a commitment to turning the tide and making a change for the better. Everyone who lives in this community has been really dedicated to this kaupapa (work) and I want to acknowledge and thank everyone that has played a part in getting the project this far.

We’re not going to be here forever but this land will be, this river will be, and this moana will be so it’s only right that we do the best we can as our generation to leave this whenua and this environment in a better condition for our children and our grandchildren,” Councillor Tahana said.

As the last surviving member of the original Maketū Action Group, Aroha Wilkinson finished the ceremony by turning the first sod while Ngāti Whakaue Minister Kahi Hanara gave a karakia. Mrs Wilkinson used a spade that belonged to her late husband Barrie Wilkinson and was supported by her sons Pete and Aubrey Wilkinson. Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder presented Mrs Wilkinson with a kahikatea tree which will be planted in the first sod at nearby Whakaue Marae.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is funding and co-ordinating the $13m construction works which are due for completion by June 2020. $3.6m has already been invested in the planning and land acquisition work completed to date.

 

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