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Awapuni Drain

The Awapuni Drain is a lowland rural drain that provides drainage from a small catchment area which has a wide range of industrial and rural activities taking place within it.

The Awapuni Drain provides drainage from an area that prior to draining was a large wetland situated quite close to Gisborne City and stretching along the coast behind sand dunes to discharge into the Waipaoa River. The catchment area is small (14km2) but it captures a range of discharges from industrial sites.

Awapuni drain follows a path through land zoned industrial ‘B’ and discharges from a range of activities are monitored along the drain as part of resource consent conditions. Industrial activity includes: lamb processing, fertiliser mixing depots, a closed landfill (and associated aftercare programme, bark composting, a large wood processing plant and intensive horticulture.

The area that the Awapuni Drain flows through is very flat and not much above sea level in altitude. This makes the flow of water sluggish when freshwater needs to be drained from the vicinity. The flow is also tidal for most of the catchment and the drain has tidal flaps at the exit into the Waipaoa River. The tidal flaps restrict the ability of water to discharge into the Waipaoa.

A feature of the area is Sistersons Lagoon. This lagoon is fed by remnant springs and discharges into Awapuni drain. The lagoon is subject to successful community restoration work and hosts school groups regularly, providing educational opportunities.

Gisborne District Council has information from several sites on the Awapuni Drain. Most are associated with monitoring specific resource consents for discharges to land and water in the area.

Sites 1

Monitored sites in the Awapuni Drain 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.


All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories.

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.


E. coli



Black disc





Total Nitrogen


Total Oxidised Nitrogen


Ammoniacal Nitrogen



Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus


Total Phosphorus

Download Data

.ZIP file of indicator readings for all sites in New Zealand

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