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Motuweka/ Havelock Estuary

Motuweka/ Havelock estuary is the largest in the Marlborough Sounds, situated at the head of Te Hoiere /Pelorus Sound, adjacent to the township of Havelock. The Te Hoiere/Pelorus and Kaituna rivers flow into the estuary.

It is characterised by extensive areas of salt marsh and intertidal flats and home to many bird species. The intertidal flats are very muddy, a symptom of the erosion that has taken place upstream due to land use, high rainfall and steep hillsides.

The catchments of the Motuweka/ Havelock estuary are the focus of the Te Hoiere Restoration Project which aims to improve fresh water quality, and in turn improve the condition of the estuary.

Estuary summary

What makes my estuary unique?

Explore the characteristics of this estuary

Overview

Estuary characteristics

  • Significant features

    Marlborough District Council Ecologically Significant Marine Site Number 3.20

  • Total area
    800 hectares
  • Total shoreline length
    16.5km

What's happening upstream?

See results from monitored river quality sites influencing this estuary

River quality

What's happening upstream?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by the rivers and streams flowing into them. For instance, when it rains the mud and contaminants generated on land can be washed into rivers and eventually flow into the estuary. The health of our rivers and streams can therefore be very important for Estuary Health, and understanding the upstream pressures can help with interpreting estuary monitoring data. Monitoring is undertaken for a range of river health indicators (e.g., water quality and ecology) in many catchments across the region. Where there are monitored river catchments that influence this estuary, these are shown below. You can click through to view monitoring results from these River Quality sites to see current state and how health has changed over time.

What surrounds my estuary?

See land cover information from monitored catchments that surround this estuary

Land cover

What surrounds my estuary?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by local geography and the way we use our land. This is because estuaries are the receiving environments for many of our land use activities. Land cover information can be used as an indicator of land use, therefore knowing the surrounding land cover can help us understand which pressures might be affecting Estuary Health. For example, the sandflats of estuaries surrounded by rural areas will typically contain contaminants related to rural activities (e.g., cadmium from crop fertilisers and copper from fungicides), whereas those surrounded by urban areas are more likely to contain contaminants associated with cities (e.g., zinc and lead from roads and building materials). Where there is land cover information available for nearby catchments, these are listed below. These figures show the types of vegetation and built or natural features that surround the estuary margins and the rivers that flow into this estuary. You can click through to the Land Cover topic to see these land cover classes broken down into further detail, and view changes over time.

Te Hoiere/Pelorus River

What do the Broad Land Cover Classes mean?

Land cover information on LAWA is grouped into land cover classes at two levels of detail – broad and medium. For this overview we are showing the six broad-level classes for the catchment.

  • Forest

    Inclusive of; indigenous and exotic forest.

  • Scrub / shrubland

    Inclusive of; indigenous and exotic scrub / shrubland.

  • Grassland / other herbaceous vegetation

    Inclusive of; tussock and exotic grassland and other herbaceous vegetation.

  • Cropland

    Inclusive of; cropping / horticulture.

  • Urban / bare / lightly-vegetated surfaces

    Inclusive of; natural bare/lightly-vegetated and artificial bare surfaces, and urban area

  • Water bodies
Monitored sites 4

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