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We want to give our catchment communities the opportunity to help develop an action plan for improving water quality, and take ownership of outcomes - Papanui catchment, other subcatchments.


We work with locals right across the region to support a healthy environment and vibrant communities. Our community 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, and we do it 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 to see our upcoming events.

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

Because of Covid-19 we won’t be having any planting days in 2020, but check out our Facebook page for upcoming events.

Beach clean ups

We support schools, communities, and business groups with clean ups along the coast. It’s a mucky job, but it’s also fun by the water and some interesting things can be found.

We can help with bags, gloves and rubbish disposal. We work closely with our colleagues at Napier City Council and Hastings District Council when we can. Litter can be a real issue along our coast line and near our rivers. If you would like to organise a clean-up in your area then please get in touch

Some recent cleans ups we’ve done were a beach clean up 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.

Northern community projects

Mahia -

We’re part of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group, made up of tangata whenua, landowners, other agencies, and Te Māhia school working together to better manage land and 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 healthiness of the Whangawehi River. One of the lastest 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.

Tūtira -

At Tūtira, the Regional Council and Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust 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 can swim.

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

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


Harakeke walkway - 

Harakeke Walkway is a project between Napier City and Regional Councils that has 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 hit the ground running in 2008 with active discussions, visual designs, and conversations with the Maraenui community. Both councils created a design to work around critical drainage, and the new waterway appears natural and Harakeke Walkway is fed by a bore at the upstream (ocean) end.

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

Karamū Stream - 

Karamū Stream is a gently flowing waterway with areas of public reserve by Havelock North with native plants and limestone pathways. It takes water from as far as Pekapeka wetland and Bridge Pa, before flowing beside Havelock North to merge with the Raupare Stream and merging into the Clive River.

It has poor water quality due to contaminants and nutrients from its extensive catchment ending up in the stream. 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.

The Regional Council has a strategy to work with the community to improve the water quality. The first community project began in 1997, and since then the Regional Council has led an enhancement programme with the aim of improving public access to the stream edges and improving water quality. 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 our 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.


Pekapeka - 

Pekapeka is a great place to explore and learn about wetlands and why they are essential to our environment and is a great space for educating tamariki outside the classroom.

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

Omakere - 

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.

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


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