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Home > Our region and environment > Coast > Tauranga Moana > Caring for your harbour

Caring for your harbour

There are many simple steps you can take to care for Tauranga Harbour: at home, work, around your garden or farm, and of course, on and around the water.

At home or in the garden

  • Make sure your septic tank is in good working order
  • Don't pour pollutants or wash paint brushes into storm water drains
  • Wash your car on grass so pollutants don't go into storm water drains
  • Plant native trees and shrubs to help attract birds
  • Take rubbish, including green waste, to the landfill not the estuary, and recycle wherever possible. See our Waste and Recycling Directory to find out where you can safely dispose of paint, chemicals or other waste items.
  • Collect sea lettuce from the foreshore and use it in your garden. Wash it and use it sparingly to avoid salt build-up in your soil. Find out more in this Sea Lettuce and the Garden booklet.
  • Get involved in some of the many local events
  • Keen to do more? Join a local care group to help with an environmental restoration project near you.

At the harbour

  • Stop the spread of marine pests by keeping your boat hull clean (no more than light slime) and anti-fouling paint fresh. Check your hull before you travel to or from a new area, every time. 
  • Park in designated areas and avoid driving on the beach, dunes or mud flats - it can squash and disturb wildlife & exacerbate erosion
  • Keep your dog on a leash near bird habitats, or avoid walking dogs in those locations. Obey dog exclusion notices
  • Take your rubbish home - even better, pick up and dispose of other people's rubbish
  • Take care with boat maintenance and regularly check that your boat is not leaking oil or pollutants. See this guide for tips on preventing pollution when you maintain your boat.
  • Help your children learn why the harbour is important
  • Walk on marked paths and tracks
  • Avoid gathering shellfish after a heavy rain as poor water quality may mean they are unsafe to eat.

At your farm or lifestyle block

  • Ask us for funding and advice to help you better care for your land and the harbour
  • Fence streams and waterways to keep stock off stream banks and out of the water (a reticulated stock water supply provides better environmental care)
  • Plant along streams and waterways (ideally in native plants relevant to the harbour environments)
  • Avoid overgrazing steep slopes and pasture near waterways
  • Catch and control stock effluent
  • Avoid spraying chemicals near waterways
  • Apply fertiliser sparingly and with care, especially near waterways
  • Run a nutrient budget to avoid overuse of fertiliser
  • Minimise use of tracks that may damage riparian or wetland areas
  • Use our Futureproof your Land self-assessment toolkits for more ideas on how you can keep your land productive and protect the harbor 

Contact a Land management Officer on 0800 884 880 for further advice and funding assistance.

At work

  • Find out where washwater, spills and waste from your workplace ends up if it flows into a drain.
  • Capture run-off by installing wash baths, gully traps, containment bunds, purpose built wash-down pads or other systems to capture potential pollutants before they go down the drain. Your local council can help you identify what systems your business needs.
  • Check that storage areas are protected from weather and leakage. Make sure your spill kit & response plan is always ready to go.
  • Consider using a mobile washing or suction truck operator to manage contaminated wash water. Make sure they’ll be taking the waste they collect to an approved disposal facility.
  • These guides offer tips to help specific types of business prevent pollution:
  • Check out our Waste and Recycling Directory to find out where you can safely dispose of paint, chemicals or other industrial waste.

Read more about the Cleaner Production Programme and the Paintwise Scheme

Keen to do more?

Some community groups are already doing great work to protect and improve the estuaries and surrounding environment - you may like to get involved. To find out more please call Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880.


Other resources available:

Tauranga City Council's website has a lot of very useful information including a series of brochures to help individuals and businesses avoid pollution of watercourses and the harbour. Click here to link to the brochures page on the Tauranga City Council website.