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Hawke's Bay region

River Quality

Hawke’s Bay has a wide variety of river types, from lowland coastal rivers and spring-fed lowland and upland streams to sub-alpine-fed rivers.

The eight  river catchments in Hawke’s Bay (from the north) are – Wairoa, Mohaka, Esk, Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro, Tukituki, Maraetotara/Waimarama and Porangahau. 

There are also several lakes in Hawke’s Bay – Waikaremoana and Wakareiti in Te Urewera National Park, the Kaweka Lakes in the Kaweka Forest Park, Lake Tūtira and Lake Whakaki in Tutira and many smaller lakes throughout the region.

The predominant economic activity of the region is agriculture. This is mostly intensive sheep and beef farming along with viticulture, market gardens, orchards, and horticultural cash crops, plus the service industries that support these, including food processing.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is working with iwi, local councils and community groups to restore and enhance urban streams for drainage and flood protection, biodiversity and amenity assets. The Karamu Stream is a current focus and the first suburban enhancement in partnership with Napier City Council has been completed on the Harakeke Waterway.  Farmers, schools and community groups are also involved in projects such as the Maraetotara River restoration.

HBRC has also worked in collaboration with local communities, DOC, Fish and Game, and landowners to restore some of the regions priority wetlands. Work has been undertaken in the- Whakaki, Waitangi, Horseshoe, Tukituki and Pekapeka Wetlands. As a part of the restoration works in Waitangi, whitebait spawning areas have been enhanced to provide a better habitat for the species.

The water quality in the Hawke’s Bay rivers is generally good. A small number of rivers are showing a decline in water quality and the reasons for those declining trends are being investigated by HBRC.  HBRC is currently reviewing the Regional Resource Management Plan by catchment to put in place practical actions and policies specific to each catchment to arrest that trend.

Contaminants of particular concern are nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous), sediments and faecal coliform bacteria. The main causes for these contaminants are diffuse runoff associated with land-use, municipal wastewater treatment works and landuse intensification. Key catchments in current focus are the Tukituki, the greater Heretaunga Plains (Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamu catchments), Taharua-Mohaka, and Tūtira.

Catchments 12 Scientific Indicators
Scientific data for this region

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

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

  • 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.

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
Download
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