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Ashley River/Rakahuri Catchment

The Ashley River a medium-sized hill-fed river in the north of the Canterbury Plains. The river originates from the mountain range in the west Lees Valley and exits the foothills through a canyon called the Ashley gorge near Oxford township. The river flows generally southeastwards for 65 kilometres before entering the Pacific Ocean at Waikuku Beach, north of Christchurch. The lower reaches of the river is braided, the town of Rangiora is close to the south bank of the Ashley River.

Where the Ashley meets the sea is on of the largest is one of the least modified estuaries in New Zealand. The estuary is abundant in bird life, including the wrybill (Anarhynchus frontalis) and Black stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae). Many migratory birds over-winter in the estuary. The river generally has good water quality with low level dissolved nutrient levels and bacteria levels although extended periods of low flows (including naturally dry reaches) in the late summer frequently lead to nuisance growths of algae.

There are currently three State of the Environment Water Quality monitoring sites on the Ashley River, and two State of the Enviroment Ecosysytem Health monitoring sites. Aquatic Ecosystem Health is also routinely monitored on one other stream site in approximately the middle of the catchment.

Sites 4

Monitored sites in the Ashley River/Rakahuri Catchment catchment

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Scientific Indicators
Scientific data for this catchment

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for water quality indicators, analysed as state and trend.

The state for the catchment is represented by the median concentration for the parameter across all sites within the catchment and then compares that value to the quartiles for all monitored sites in New Zealand.

Click on the parameters state icons to compare this catchment with others in the region.

  • State

    State shows how the median of samples from this site compares to other sites

  • Trend

    Trend shows how the quality of water is changing over time. Depending on the sampling history duration, five and ten year timescales are available:

Can I trust this data?

The Cawthron Institute has worked alongside regional councils to verify the processes and methods used for data collection, laboratory analysis of samples collected and the statistical analysis and interpretation of the results presented.

If all Cawthron ticks are green, then you can trust this data. However, if one or more ticks are orange, then conclusions should be treated with some caution.

For more details on each tick, see our 'Can I Trust This Data?' Factsheet.

Can I trust the data?
Data Collection

All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories. Therefore the data shown here has been collected and analysed following best practice.

State

All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories. Therefore the data shown here can be trusted.

Trend - Adjustment for flow

This data is not flow adjusted. National guidelines suggest that flow-sensitive variables are flow 'adjusted' before trend analysis. Therefore, any trends shown here may be affected by variations in flow across sampling occasions.

Bacteria

E. coli
State
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Trend
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Clarity

Clarity

Black disc
State
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Trend
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Clarity

Turbidity
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Total Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Total Oxidised Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Nitrogen

Ammoniacal Nitrogen
State
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Trend
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Phosphorus

Phosphorus

Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus
State
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Trend
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Phosphorus

Total Phosphorus
State
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Trend
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Download Data

.ZIP file of indicator readings for all sites in New Zealand
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 LAWA Partners shall not be liable, whether in contract, tort, equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage of any type (including consequential losses) arising directly or indirectly from the inadequacy, inaccuracy or any other deficiency in information supplied irrespective of the cause.  Use of information supplied is entirely at the risk of the recipient and shall be deemed to be acceptance of this liability exclusion.