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Home > Our region and environment > Coast > Kaituna Maketu and Pongakawa Waitahanui catchments > Kaituna River re-diversion and Maketu Estuary enhancement project

Kaituna River re-diversion and Maketu Estuary enhancement project

Kaituna re-diversion plan overview as consented August 2015

Image above shows overview of planned work to re-divert Kaituna River and enhance Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketu Estuary

Goal of this project:

To significantly increase the volume of water (particularly fresh water) flowing from the Kaituna River into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketu Estuary, 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.

The re-diversion will significantly change the existing landscape, particularly to low-lying land north of Ford’s Cut. It will also re-create at least 20 hectares of wetland habitat, partially restoring the landscape to what it looked like before 1956.

See the Project Background page for further information about the rationale and preparatory work behind this project. Base funding for the project was budgeted for in the Bay of Plenty Regional Council 2015-25 Long Term Plan which was adopted on 25 June 2015.

What's happening at the moment? 

All of the resource consents and conditions for the project were finalised in an Environment Court decision issued in May 2016. All of the land acquisitions and detailed designs for the project have now been completed. See a map of publicly owned land around the estuary.

On 29 March 2018, Regional Councillors awarded a contract for construction works to J Swap Contractors Limited. Construction work is expected to start in July 2018.

Iwi, stakeholder and public meetings are being held in April/May 2018, to introduce the contractors and outline the process and timeframes for the work before it starts.

Road, stop bank and boat ramp closures will be in place from 1 August 2018.

Public meeting 2 May 2018

Members of the public are invited to come along to Whakaue Marae, 721 Maketu Road, Maketu on Wednesday 2 May 2018, to ask questions and find out more about project details and timeframes: 

  • Public drop-in session - 3.30-5.00pm
  • Public meeting - 5.30-7.00pm 

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For more regular updates, follow our Kaituna River re-diversion and Maketu Estuary enhancement project page to receive email notifications every time we update it.

Key contact

For questions, complaints or feedback about this project, please contact the Project Manager - Pim de Monchy:

Project updates and monitoring

Project progress and monitoring results will be reported on annually and presented to the community at scheduled public meetings. For further information, please contact the Project Manager or subscribe for email updates.

Ford Road and boat ramp closures

  • Ford Road (from Ford's Cut bridge to Te Tumu cut) will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrian access from 1 August-20 December 2018. Traffic restrictions will remain in place at Ford's cut bridge until June 2020.
  • Ford Road boat ramp and the stop bank west of Ford Road will be closed to the public from 1 August 2018-30 June 2020. Please use alternative boat ramps at Bell Road or Maketu Estuary during this time. 

Consent and environmental monitoring

Monitoring programmes are in place to check that construction work meets resource consent conditions, measure the environmental benefits achieved through this project, and detect any unexpected environmental or cultural impacts.

Work completed to date

Creation of additional wetlands upstream in the Lower Kaituna Wildlife Management Reserve through Te Pourepo o Kaituna wetland creation project began in 2017 and is ongoing. This work will also provide a sand source for new stop banks associated with the Kaituna River re-diversion.

Complementary work on Papahikahawai Island was completed in 2017 as shown below. Restoration work and planting on the island is ongoing; community volunteers and contractors will plant another 15,000 plants on the island this winter.

 Paphikahawai Island works March 2017

This video shows a before and after comparison of the Papahikahawai lagoon, following the removal of the two causeways that were preventing tidal flushing of the estuary. 

Background information and resource consent documents

Resource consent documents, further technical reports, and feasibility study information are available on the Project Background page.

Assessment of Environmental Effects

Read the summary Environmental Effects Assessment:

Past project newsletters and presentations