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Southern Coastal

The Southern Coastal catchment includes the Maraetotara River, Pouhokio, Waingongoro, Waipuka and Mangakuri streams.  The Maraetotara is the only waterway that flows into Hawke Bay; the rest flow to the Pacific coast south of Cape Kidnappers.

The Maraetotara River is a 2nd order spring-fed river with its headwaters located on the Maraetotara Plateau 32 km from where it discharges at Te Awanga within Hawke Bay. The river has a catchment area of 182.2 square kilometres and a mean annual flow of 1.116 cubic metres per second (cumecs). The catchment has a soft sedimentary geology, making it prone to stream bank erosion.

The Waingnongoro and Pouhokio are both 4th order streams with headwaters originating in the Te Apiti Valley and discharging to sea at the coastal settlement of Waimarama on the Pacific coast. Both streams are comparatively small with catchment areas of 23.5 square kilometres and 37.7 square kilometres respectively. The Waingongoro Stream mean annual flow is 0.331 cumecs (short record Jan 09 – Jul 10), and the Pouhokio Stream mean annual flow is 0.713 cumecs (at Allens Bridge). These catchments have hard sedimentary geology. In 2015 the Waingongoro stream was rediverted back to its original course by the Waimarama marae, while retaining some flow through the old course to maintain habitats.

The Mangakuri Stream is a spring fed system with slow water velocity and it is usually dominated by aquatic macrophytes. The soft sedimentary geology of the catchment provide for extensive reaches of boggy / muddy substrate which may be interrupted occasionally by small pebble reaches. There is extensive stream bank erosion caused by stock access and freshes that may come through during storm events. Landuse within the catchment is predominantly sheep and beef farming.

The Waipuka Stream discharges to Ocean Beach. The stream is unsuitable for recreation but Ocean Beach is popular for recreation.

Land use within the catchments is predominantly pastoral farming with small coastal urban development in the lower reaches.

The habitat value of these streams is average for most reaches except for the Maraetotara River upstream of Waimarama Rd, which has been targeted for extensive riparian restoration since 2003, and the Waingorongo Stream which has a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Reserve in its upper reaches. These reaches provide good to excellent habitat for instream life as the fencing off of stock and planting of native trees provide good shade plus sediment and nutrient trapping capacity.
The Maraetotara River is recognised for its value as an eel and trout fishery. The Waimarama catchment streams (Waingongoro and Pouhokio Streams) also have eel fishery and a cultural value but do not contain trout.

Sites 8

Monitored sites in the Southern Coastal 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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