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Whangamata Harbour and Catchment Management Plans: Summary Document

About this report

The Whangamata communities desire to protect and enhance the social, cultural, environmental and economic values of their community initiated the requirement for the development of both the Whangamata Harbour Plan and Catchment Management Plan.

This document has been prepared as a summary of these two plans so as to provide a snapshot of the catchment as a whole to ensure a holistic approach to the planning and management of the natural environment. These plans will allow future generations to be able to live, work and play in the Whangamata catchment.

Key aspects of the plan are identified below. Further in-depth information can be sourced from the original documents (see appendices at the back of the document).

Significant features of the Whangamata catchment include: 

  • landscape and recreational values
  • cultural and historical sites
  • flora and fauna – including threatened and rare bird species
  • coastal habitat – both existing and potential. 

Key issues that are both current and potential for the Whangamata catchment are: 

  • the perceived and actual impact of forestry activities
  • potential for urban development
  • declining aquatic and terrestrial habiatats and asscoiated species
  • evidence of a general decline in water quality
  • changes in harbour vegetation – encroachment of mangroves into sea grass habitat and the expansion of salt water paspalum
  • impact of animal and plant pests. 

Recommended actions and implementation methods for the Whangamata catchment are: 

  • retirement of riparian margins wetlands, forest fragment and harbour fringe
  • plant and animal pest control
  • river management and maintenance
  • walkways around the Whangamata harbour and opportunities for recreational access to the wider catchment
  • reduction of contaminents entering stormwater systems
  • vegetation management in the harbour. 

The success of this plan relies on the up-take and goodwill of the landowners, residents and interest groups within the Whangamata catchment. Contributions are needed from the Department of Conservation, TCDC, Waikato Regional Council, Hauraki iwi, stakeholders and the Whangamata community to ensure the plans overall success. A number of projects and initiatives are well underway within the catchment already.

Whangamata Harbour and Catchment Management Plans: Summary Document [PDF, 402 KB]

Table of contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Purpose 1
1.1.1 Outcomes sought 1
2 Background 1
2.1 The Peninsula Project 2
2.2 An integrated approach 2
2.3 The Coromandel Peninsula Blueprint Project 3
2.4 Community process 3
3 Legislative and planning framework 4
4 Catchment description 4
4.1 Location 4
4.2 Physical characteristics of the catchment 6
4.2.1 Geological features 6
4.2.2 Land use and land cover 6
4.3 Ecology 10
4.4 Water quality 10
4.5 Harbour and estuary 11
4.6 Social 11
4.6.1 Residential 11
4.6.2 Tangata whenua 11
5 Catchment and harbour assessment 12
5.1 Values 13
5.2 Key issues 13
5.3 Wentworth River 13
5.3.1 Issues from the lower reach of the Wentworth River (from the causeway upstream to old quarry) 14
5.3.2 Issues from the mid section of the Wentworth River (old quarry to approximately 1.5 kilometres upstream) 15
5.3.3 Issues from the upper reach of the Wentworth RIver (to the ford) 15
5.3.4 Issues for the tributaries around the Wentworth River 15
5.4 Waikiekie Stream 15
5.4.1 Issues from the lower reach of Waikiekie Stream (below state highway bridge) 15
5.4.2 Issues from the middle reach of the Waikiekie Stream (above state highway to tributary confluence) 16
5.4.3 Issues from the mid reach of the Waikiekie Stream to forestry bounday 16
5.5 Te Weiti Stream 16 
5.5.1 Issues from the lower reach of Te Weiti Stream (below the state highway)  16 
5.5.2 Issues from the upper reach of Te Weiti Stream (above the state highway)  16 
5.5.3 Tributary of Te Weiti Stream 16 
5.6 Otuwhete Stream/Julian Drive 17 
5.6.1 Issues for the Otuwhete Stream 17 
5.7 Harbour issues  17 
5.7.1 Issues for water quality within the Whangamata Harbour  17 
5.7.2 Issues for coastal habitat within the Whangamata Harbour  17 
5.7.2 Issues for coastal habitat within the Whangamata Harbour  17 
5.7.3 Issues from sedimentation within the Whangamata Harbour  18 
5.7.4 Issues for recreation, boating, access and views within the Whangamata Harbour  18 
5.8 Vegetation management in the coastal marine area 18
5.8.1 Saltwater paspalum  18 
5.8.2 Mangroves  19 
6 Work methods and benefits  19 
6.1 Land management  19 
6.1.1 Benefits to this approach  19 
6.2 Riparian enhancement  19 
6.2.1 Benefits to this approach  20 
6.3 River and flood management  20 
6.3.1 Benefits to this approach  20 
6.4 Harbour and estuary activities  20 
6.4.1 Benefits to this approach  20 
7 Implementation  21 
  Appendix 1 Whangamata catchment and harbour plan blended objectives, outcomes and actions 22