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The Waiau River catchment area is 33.1 sq km and extends from foothills beyond the Kaimai Ranges to the very north of Tauranga Harbour where it emerges through an extensive saltmarsh wetland.  The upper catchment geology includes a rhyolite dome, Coromandel andesite and ignimbrite and much of this is covered with exotic forestry (34%) and indigenous vegetation (10%).  Large tracts of pasture also occur to the north and west of the upper catchment and extend into the lower catchment to make up around half of the land cover.  Andesite and ignimbrite geology make most of the hilly terrain with Holocene sediments composing the lower catchment flat areas. 

Water quality monitoring occurs at Waiau Ford Road and the site is showing an increasing trend in phosphorus.

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Monitored sites in the Waiau catchment

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