skip to main content

Kotahi Coastal Environment

What we know about our coastal environment

Hawke's Bay has over 350 kilometres of open coast and estuary shoreline. This includes rocky shores, cliffs, dunes, sandy beaches and gravel beaches. The natural geology of the region’s coastline provides a diverse range of homes for the creatures that live at the edge of the coast and in the sea.  

In the south, coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, extensive dune systems and rock platforms characterise the coastline between Cape Turnagain and Cape Kidnappers. River mouths, estuaries, gravel beaches and herb fields are typical coastal habitats between Te Awanga and Tangoio 

In central areas north of Tangoio, steep cliffs and associated rocky reefs extend up to the Waikari River mouth. Between the Waikari and Nuhaka river mouths the coastline is typically low-lying dunes and sand and gravel beaches.  

In the north of the region, the Mahia Peninsula has large sandy beaches, extensive dune systems and expansive rock platforms.  

The Hawke Bay coast and marine environment has: 

  • 5 major estuaries: Porangahau, Waitangi, Ahuriri, Wairoa and Maungawhio 
  • 21 significant coastal areas 
  • A sub-tidal area that covers 701,372 hectares 
  • Large rocky reefs at Bull Rock, Portland Island and Long Point (Mahia Peninsula) 
  • Pania Reef, Black Reef, Hinemahanga rocks and inshore reefs between Aramoana and Paoanio Point 
  • Deep reef and sandbanks in the Lachlan ridge, southwest of Mahia 
Coast 1
Coast 2

What the science is telling us

The health of the coast and the sea life it sustains support the values held by the community, including for customary rights and practices, native species, mahinga kai, landscape and natural character, extensive recreational activities and underpin a substantial economic contribution to the Hawke's Bay region. 

The coast and marine ecosystems face variouspressures from human activities, including the effects of contaminants – especially sediment, nutrients and urban pollutants – entering the estuaries and coast, structures such as navigation aids, wharves and coastal erosion structures, and other activities such as vehicle use, dredging and fishing. 

Further to the human impacts oncoast and marine areas, climate change effects include sea level rise, consequential inundation and increased erosion, all of which require active management.   

There is a need to better reflect Māori in managing and monitoring the coastal environment and marine area including for kai moana and native species. 

Kotahi & the Coastal Environment

The current plans to manage the coastal environment and marine areas of Hawke's Bay are out-dated. They require review to ensure they give effect to national Policy, particularly the NZCPS.  Freshwater also needs to be managed in a more integrated way, given its direct inputs into estuaries and open coastal waters. 

The Kotahi Plan will review how: 

  • Contaminants are managed, especially sediment and rural and urban pollutants entering estuary and coastal areas  
  • The sustainable use and development of coastal environments is recognised and provided for, such as activities associated with energy generation and transmission, aquaculture, ports, walking and vehicle access,coastal erosion and inundation  
  • Significant areas are identified and managed, with adequate protection for areas of outstanding natural character, landscapes, biodiversity and landscape values in both the coastal margin and the coastal marine area 
  • Coastal hazards are provided for and managed for the impacts of climate change, considering national climate change guidance and new sea level rise scenarios, including a review of current hazard zones. Also refer to the Natural Hazards fact sheet.

Your Feedback

The following infographic displays what the community has told us about this catchment in our first round of engagement.  For more information read the full Kotahi Community Engagement Report here.

1022 Coastresults V01


Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hawke's Bay Regional Council - / +64 6 835 9200 /