Project Title: Restoring Otaika Creek Inanga 'Love Zone'



Metres Planted:
90 m

Volunteer Hours:

Location: Otaika Valley

GPS Coordinates: -35.786249, 174.302619

Project Cost: NZD $4140

Cost per Metre: NZD $46

Metres to be planted: 90m

Field Partner: Northland Regional Council

Project ID: NI25

Project Description:


The Whangārei Harbour catchment is made up of all the waterways that flow into the harbour. The catchment is about three times the size of the harbour itself, and includes the town of Whangārei.

The main rivers flowing into the harbour are the Hātea River, the Otaika/Puwera streams and the Waiarohia/Raumanga streams. 

The Whangārei Harbour Catchment Group is working with Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council to improve water quality in the harbour.


Otaika Creek has long been a significant taonga (treasure) and source of kai (food) and recreation to local people, as well as an important resource to local industry.

The health of Otaika Creek has been deteriorating. Restoring it is a priority for the catchment group. The group is actively working towards the following goals:

  • Making it easier for fish to travel upstream by removing barriers to fish passage
  • Investigating sources of pollution in Otaika Creek
  • Engaging the local community to participate in planting and improving water quality in Otaika Creek and the larger catchment
  • Whitebait Connection’s Inanga ‘Love Zone’ Project

LOVE The ‘Love Zone’

We want to engage and empower the local community to help restore Otaika Creek. And we’re especially interested in finding and improving Inanga spawning habitat along the creek.

Inanga are one of our native freshwater fish species and they are in decline. They are linked to the wider ecosystem from the mountains to the sea as they travel from freshwater to saltwater and then back to freshwater during their lifecycle.

Inanga are present in the Otaika Creek, but they lack suitable spawning habitat. We call this area the ‘love zone’ and we need to love the love zone! Specialised planting in this area can make a huge difference!


We will be planting 400 plants and trees along 90 metres of Otaika Creek with students from Otaika Valley and Portland schools. This is an area where Inanga have been spawning.

The students have been learning about their awa for five years now. They started planting last year and hope to continue along with many other stakeholders to plant and remove Willows and fish passage barriers over the coming years to help restore the overall health of Otaika Creek.


We hope that you will support our project today! Your donation will go towards prepping the site for planting, the plants themselves and maintaining the plants so that they survive. Our goal is to plant at the end of June 2018.

Progress Photos: