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Taruheru River

The Taruheru is one of Gisborne city’s ‘Three Rivers’ and in the lower reaches it provides for recreational activities such as waka ama, fishing, and kayaking. The catchment is mainly within the lower Poverty Bay Flats with headwaters only 13 km from the city.

The headwaters of the Taruheru at Waihirere Domain is within reserve land and this reserve has allowed the water quality within the reaches in the reserve to maintain high quality. The presence of freshwater kōura (crayfish) in the stream at this location is unique in the Poverty Bay.

Downstream reaches suffer from sluggish flow due to the flat nature of the topography and the influence from very intensive horticulture. The monitoring site at Tuckers Road is described as having some of the poorest water quality in the Gisborne Region.  Oxygen levels are often low, the substrate is soft bottomed with fine silt deposits and biological life in the flat reaches is poor.

A tidal influence affects the area of the Taruheru near Gisborne city. High tide provides a flush of salt water that enables the amenity values of these reaches to be appreciated by recreational users of the river.

Gisborne District Council monitors water quality for State of the Environment (SOE) monitoring and for recreational bathing. A community group is undertaking water quality monitoring within the Waihirere Domain (in 2014-15) as part of a national programme to compare the results from Council sampling and testing with results from community groups.

Sites 2

Monitored sites in the Taruheru River catchment

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