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The Nukuhou River winds across a wide stretch of intensely farmed pastoral land.  This expanse of floodplain is bounded by rolling hill country with a mixture of drystock farming, forestry and indigenous forest cover.  The floodplain narrows as it moves north, bounded to the west by the Kererutahi Forest, before cutting its way through greywacke hills to enter the Ōhiwa Harbour.  


The Nukuhou River is the largest freshwater inflow to Ohiwa Harbour and has shown high
turbidity and indicator bacteria levels. The Nukuhou is monitored at an old quarry. 
Several significant water quality trends since 1990 are apparent. Temperature in the river has a meaningful increase with temperatures in summer reaching levels that are likely to be affecting the health of fish and bugs (macroinvertebrates). 

However dissolved oxygen saturation has been significantly improving after showing declining seasonal minimums until 2005.  Other trends in the Nukuhou River indicate some improvement in
water quality.  Suspended solids levels show a meaningful decrease and some forms of nitrogen and phosphorus display meaningful decreasing trends.

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Monitored sites in the Nukuhou catchment

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