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He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
We work with communities across our catchments to design action plans that will improve water quality, in a constant push for positive environmental outcomes.


We work with local people right across the region to support a healthy environment. This work stretches from Māhia in the north to Porongahau in the south, and is mainly related to catchment management and water quality.

Planting days

Every year we plant thousands of trees around the region - mostly on private land - and with the help of our community. Planting days are always fun - a bit of hard work and a lot of social time! And the more pairs of hands the better, kids can get in on the fun too. If you want to get involved check out our Facebook page during winter to see our upcoming events.

In the past few years we’ve planted at Waitangi Regional Park and along the Karamū Stream, and had a lot of fun with the community.

Beach and river clean ups

We support schools, communities, and business groups with clean ups along the coast. Litter can be a real issue along our coastline and near our rivers. It’s a mucky job, but it’s also fun by the water and some interesting things are usually found.

Recent cleans-ups have been on the beach at Waitangi supported by the Environment Centre, the Taradale High Students annual river clean up at Tutaekurī, with the Havelock North Cubs along the Karamū Stream, and with Marewa School Eco-Warriors at the Latham Street Reserve.

Get involved

Beach and river clean ups are held regularly and often community groups organise these themselves. We can help with bags, gloves and rubbish disposal. We work closely with Napier City Council and Hastings District Council when we can.  

You are welcome to ask us if there are events you can join in. For more information, or  if your group wants to organise a clean up, email

Northern community projects


We’re part of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group, made up of tangata whenua, landowners, other agencies, and Te Māhia school. We're all working together to improve the land and enhance water in the catchment, alongside coordinating environmental work and education in the community.

Born in 2011, the group has undertaken a huge amount of work to improve the health of the Whangawehi River. One of the latest innovative pieces of work was the release of dung beetles with Te Māhia School. You can find out more about the project on the Whangawehi website.

Putere Lakes

The Regional Council is partnering with Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust (NPDT), local community and others to improve the quality of Putere Lakes in Wairoa.

Beginning in 2015, it’s an exciting partnership and the first project of its kind in the region looking to protect and enhance the lakes, using innovative solutions to work with the environment. An example of this is the use of innovative water quality sampling platofrms, that provide safe and easy access to deep water, and house native plants.

We are working with NPDT and the local community to monitor the lakes and once we’ve got a picture of results, we’ll figure out what we need to do to improve the quality.


At Tūtira, Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust and the Regional Council are developing a plan to highlight what needs to be done to restore the mauri (life-force) of Tūtira and Waikōpiro lakes, making a place that families can happily return to and where children will be able to swim.

This project builds on mahi being done through the Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust’s 'Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi' initiative and has received funding from the Freshwater Improvement Fund, through the Ministry for the Environment.

You can find out more about our work at Tūtira on our Te waiū o Tūtira page.

Central community projects

Harakeke walkway 

This project is shared by Napier City and the Regional Council. Together we transformed a plain, grassed reserve in Napier into 4.5 hectares of native plants, pathways, feature bridges, wetlands and a community mural.

The creation of the walkway between Chambers and Nash Streets in Napier began in 2003, and was substantially developed after active discussions with the Maraenui community in 2008. Both councils created a design to work around existing underground piping and critical drainage. The resulting waterway appears natural and is fed by a bore at the upstream (ocean) end.

According to local Māori, this area was once covered in native flax, which were harvested for rāranga and rongo, weaving and medicinal purposes – for this reason, the walkway was named after the Harakeke or flax plant.

Karamū Stream

Karamū Stream flows gently by Havelock North, with areas of public reserve, native planting and limestone pathways. It takes water from as far as Pekapeka wetland and Bridge Pa, flowing past Havelock North to merge with the Raupare Stream and merging into Clive River at Pākōwhai.

Karamū Stream is a critical catchment for Hastings District, as it drains water from horticultural land on the Heretaunga Plains - plus the bulk of city stormwater to the Clive River - which then flows into Hawke Bay. It has poor water quality due to contaminants and nutrients from its extensive catchment ending up in the stream.

The Regional Council has a strategy to work with the community to improve the water quality. The first community project began in 1997. Since then the Regional Council has supported an enhancement programme to improve water quality and public access alongside the stream. Significant support and enthusiasm has come from marae on the banks of the waterway, local schools, and community groups such as Te Karituwhenua Reserve Trust. In 2019 the Trust received the Regional Council's Environmental Action in the Community Award - Te Oho Mauri Taiao ki te Hapori – for 27 years of planting trees, creating pathways, and encouraging birdlife to return to the Karituwhenua Stream Walkway in Havelock North.

Southern community projects


Pekapeka Regional Park is a great place to explore and learn about wetlands and why they are essential to our environment, plus a great space to educate tamariki outside the classroom.

We have an ongoing community biodiversity enhancement programme at the wetland, managed by the Regional Council. This includes planting by school children, duck shooters and many volunteers. The duck shooters also help with our enhancement work and predator control.


Swamp forests once fringed most water bodies and wet valley floors, but have just about disappeared from New Zealand. We’re involved in a community project in Central Hawke’s Bay at Omakere aiming to restore kahikatea from small surviving remnants. Tucked on the Omakere flats surrounded by rolling hills is a small stand of straight and tall kahikatea - all that is left of the swamp forest that once dominated much of the area.

Private landowners, community, schools, ecologists, and Regional Council are working together to restore the forest.


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