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  Services » Regional Services » River and catchment management » Managing our region’s rivers and catchments » Beachcare


Photo - pingao plantingBeachcare groups are involved in caring for beaches around the region. They are partnerships between the local community, iwi, district councils and Waikato Regional Council, working together to protect and restore our precious beaches. There are currently community Beachcare groups working at 24 beaches on the east and west coasts of the Waikato region.

Why we need Beachcare groups

Check out our map to see where Beachcare groups in the Waikato region are located

Many of us love spending time at the beach. During summer many of our region's coastal towns and beaches become crowded with visitors and holiday-makers. Unfortunately, as our beaches become more popular and coastal development increases, the natural character of many of our region's beaches degrades.

Beachcare groups are made up of people who care about a particular area of coastline. They work together to help protect and care for it.

Fragile dunes

Many of the Beachcare groups in the Waikato region focus on protecting and restoring native coastal vegetation and sand dunes. Dunes play an important role in protecting beaches from coastal erosion and flooding. Dunes and their vegetation also protect the natural character and beauty of beaches. Pingao (Ficinia spiralis), an important but “in-decline” native dune plant, is also highly valued by Māori for weaving.

However, dunes are fragile and easily destroyed. Dunes rely on the plants that grow on them to trap sand. When dune plants are destroyed dunes are lost. Find out more about dunes and the role they play in protecting beaches. Check out the dune care code to learn more about caring for dunes.

>> Read 'Fragile: A guide to Waikato dunes' [PDF, 5 MB]

Our publication, above, aims to raise awareness of the importance of coastal dunes, their natural function and values, and the human pressures on these natural systems. Common dune management problems are illustrated, together with a brief outline of the key elements of dune management and restoration.

Working together

Waikato Regional Council and district councils have been providing administrative support and other resources including plants, signage, technical advice and building materials to Beachcare groups since 1993.

What Beachcare groups are doing

 Beachcare groups around the Waikato region help protect our coastlines by:

  • planting and protecting native dune plants
  • building access ways, so people can get to and from beaches mroe easily, while still protecting coastal plants
  • installing signs to keep people informed about what they are doing
  • controlling pest plants in dune areas
  • monitoring beaches for changes or problems that may need their attention.

Restoring Marokopa!

As a result of the hard-work and determination of Marokopa Beachcare and support from the Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation, the dunes of the Marokopa sand-spit have now been restored, allowing the sand-spit to recover naturally following erosion.

 Important urupa sites on the sand-spit have also been protected, the cultural resources provide by the endemic dune plant pingao have been returned, and habitat for native wild-life restored.

This is one of the largest scale community based dune restoration projects achieved in New Zealand, and as a result was featured on Prime TV’s documentary series – “Keeping it Pure”.

Beachcare magazine

Find out about the great work being carried out on the Waikato coastline by Beachcare volunteers. The Beachcare magazine comes out annually and looks at the year just gone. It’s a great way to find out about the work being carried out to protect and restore our dunes, and inspire you to get involved!

>> Search the Beachcare Magazine articles by topic

Beachcare Magazine, Edition 6, 2015-2016 beachcare cover 2014 Pages from beachcare magazine 2013 web.pdf
Edition 6 (2015-16) Edition 5 (2014) Edition 4 (2012-13)
Pages-from-edition32012.pdf.jpg beachcare cover 2011 Pages-from-BeachcaremagazineApril-2009.pdf.jpg  
Edition 3 [PDF, 6.2 MB] (Spring 2012) Edition 2 [PDF, ] (Autumn 2011)  Edition 1 [PDF, ] (Autumn 2009)  


Beachcare newsletters

Pages-from-Beachcare-newsletter-June-08-WEB.pdf.jpg Pages-from-beachcarenewsletter-May07.pdf.jpg Pages-from-beachcareApril06.pdf.jpg
Issue 9 [PDF, ] (Winter 2008) Issue 8 [PDF, ] (Summer 2007 Issue 7 (Autumn 2007) Issue 6 (Autumn 2006)
Issue 5 [PDF, 872 KB] (Summer 2005) Issue 4 [PDF, 415 KB] (Autumn 2005) Issue 3 [PDF, 466 KB] (Summer 2004)  


If you would like to receive a copy of the next Beachcare newsletter please contact us on Waikato Regional Council's Freephone 0800 800 401 and we'll put you on the mailing list.

Useful web links

Dune restoration in NZ

NZ's coastal environment

Useful sites to support ecological restoration projects

  • The Ripple Effect(external link)Find out about community action groups all over the Waikato making ripples for a better environment.
  • Nature Space(external link)Find out information about community restoration groups working throughout New Zealand, as well as resources to get the best conservation results.
  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network(external link): Learn more about native plants and their conservation in New Zealand. The Network's main focus is the nationally threatened plants and plant communities that require conservation management for their continued survival.
  • QEII National Trust(external link): The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (The National Trust) is an independent statutory organisation set up in 1977 to “encourage and promote, for the benefit of New Zealand, the provision, preservation and enhancement of open space.”
  • Dune planting calculator(external link)This handy tool developed by the Dune Restoration Trust of NZ allows you to figure out how many plants you need for ANY planting project.
  • Tāne's Tree Trust(external link)Tāne's Tree Trust draws on extensive expertise and networks to promote the benefits of planting and managing native trees.


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