Restoring the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf

3 Apr 2020 by The Million Metres team

The Hauraki Gulf's stunning coastline stretches from Mangawhai, north of Auckland, to Waihi on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is a shallow harbour sheltering more than 50 unique islands and marine reserves, which are home to native plants and at-risk wildlife. Conservation-restoration steps have been taken on many islands to remove pests and to create sanctuaries for native wildlife. But the Hauraki Gulf is under threat.

The latest ‘State of our Gulf 2020’ report exposed some unpleasant truths lurking beneath those shining seas. Drastic decreases in fish populations. More than one-fifth of all seabirds endangered. Crayfish are almost extinct. The authors of the report warned there had been little improvements since the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established 20 years ago, with population growth, coastal developments and climate change all pointing towards a dire future without drastic action. Our Pacific Ocean playground is being adversely affected by sediment and pollution entering streams and rivers from the surrounding land.

That's where Million Metres comes in!

By restoring native bush along waterways, we can help prevent further pollution and sediment flowing into the ocean. Million Metres has been working together with communities across the region to help reverse the degradation of this national taonga. We have three projects 'More love for Rangihoua Wetland','Te Aroha Valley and Hekerua Bay Healthy Stream Project' and 'The Taramaire Stream Restoration Projectcurrently focused on improving the water quality entering the Hauraki Gulf.

We have also established a dedicated ‘gift tree’ page to support the Gulf and help restore its mauri, its life-giving essence. By gifting trees, you can help reduce pollution, restore our waterways and protect the Pacific Ocean.


Restoring the Hauraki Gulf: the people, the projects


More love for Rangihoua Wetland
Love Our Wetlands Waiheke is a local initiative led and guided by local experts. The Rangihoua wetland on Waiheke Island plays a major role in filtering sediment and protecting the Hauraki Gulf. Its ecological restoration and protection is vital to the health of the harbour.

This project is supported by local schools, community groups and individuals who unite on community planting days along with corporate volunteer groups to get 15000 eco-sourced native trees in the ground. Throughout the year volunteers weed and nurture the trees, removing invasive plants and pests from the wetlands. This ensures the wetlands have the best chance at regenerating. Find out more about this project >


Te Aroha Valley and Hekerua Bay Healthy Stream Project
Kaitiaki Friends of Te Aroha have banded together and committed to restoring Te Aroha valley and planting 4200 native plants. After many years of neglect, Te Aroha Valley is starting to regenerate. The bush is full of kereru, tui, ruru, piwakawaka and riroriro. The morning chorus is nature’s alarm clock. Little blue penguins nest under houses in the valley and a troop of kaka fledge chicks here each year. There are geckos in the trees and eels in the stream. Banded kokopu, an endangered native fish, have also been spotted in one of the pools.

While this is encouraging news, they are fragile. Fish in the stream and pools are in danger of suffering from heat stress and oxygen depletion. Restoration of the valley and stream banks will help cool the water and improve its quality. Restoring the banks improves the water entering the Hauraki Gulf via the valley too. Find out more about this project >


The Taramaire Stream Restoration Project
 The Levers’ sheep and beef farm sits at the headwaters of Taramarie Stream near Miranda, Waikato. The stream flows all the way to the ocean at the Firth of Thames and then out into the Hauraki Gulf. Two years ago, the Levers fenced the stream to keep out stock. They now want to restore more of the stream bank. Fencing the Taramaire Stream two years ago has already dramatically increased wildlife along its banks. Putting in a further 6,600 native plants will grow this wildlife habitat and protect the water quality as it flows into the ocean. Planting the banks of the stream will also create shade, helping to cool and filter the water as it flows into the Hauraki Gulf at the Firth of Thames.

Restoring the Taramaire Stream is a lasting gift to the Hauraki Gulf and can encourage aquatic life to thrive in the harbour. The Levers family has documented the changes in the stream with GoPro footage. Check out the video > 


You can support these projects today by ‘Gifting the Hauraki Gulf a Tree