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Waituna Creek

The Waituna Creek is a small, but intensively farmed catchment in Southland. It flows into the Waituna Lagoon, which comprising an area of 20,000 hectares. The Waituna Lagoon lies at the bottom of the Waituna and Carran creeks, and is one of the best remaining examples of a natural coastal lagoon in New Zealand.

Long known for its diverse ecological characteristics and cultural values, the catchment is part of the internationally recognised Awarua Wetlands, which became a Ramsar site of international importance in 1976. The lagoon and its margins were recognised nationally as an important area by gaining Scientific Reserve status in 1983. The cultural significance to the local Ngāi Tahu people was recognised under a Statutory Acknowledgement with the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.

Environment Southland is part of a multi-agency response to address the decline in water quality and to prevent the lagoon from reaching a degraded state. Interested parties involved in this process include the local farmers and residents, several community groups, the Department of Conservation, iwi, the Southland District Council, DairyNZ, Fonterra, Federated Farmers, Beef and Lamb NZ, Fish and Game Southland, and Forest and Bird.

The upper part of the catchment consists primarily of brown soils, which have relatively high yields of nitrate per hectare. The lower catchment is dominated by high organic content peat type soils, which have a relatively high yield of phosphorus per hectare.

Sites 3

Monitored sites in the Waituna Creek 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.

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
Disclaimer

 LAWA Partners shall not be liable, whether in contract, tort, equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage of any type (including consequential losses) arising directly or indirectly from the inadequacy, inaccuracy or any other deficiency in information supplied irrespective of the cause.  Use of information supplied is entirely at the risk of the recipient and shall be deemed to be acceptance of this liability exclusion.