Central Waitematā Harbour ecological monitoring: 2000-2017

Samantha Parkes, C Lundquist, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd NIWA
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:

This report presents the results of the State of the Environment monitoring programme for the Central Waitematā Harbour conducted between October 2000 and February 2017. The programme is a cost-effective, spatially and temporally nested design that focuses on monitoring the ecological status of the harbour. The monitoring focuses on animals living in mud and sand flats as these animals form an important link between sediment and water column processes, are important prey items for birds and fish, sensitive to anthropogenic activities and relatively stationary so good representatives of local conditions. They are also widely used internationally for monitoring impacts on, and health of, ecosystems.

Three intertidal sites, representing the north, north-east and south-west of the harbour have been monitored bimonthly (Hobsonville Point, Whau Estuary and Upper Shoal Bay) since October 2000. Two sites in the south-east and north-west (Meola Reef and Henderson Creek) are monitored with a cycle of five years off, two years on. All five sites were monitored during the 2015-2017 period. The monitoring identifies trends in the abundances of 20 taxa (selected to represent different predicted responses to environmental changes) and sediment characteristics. The health status of the harbour is assessed each year using Auckland Council’s Benthic Health Models (BHM) and Traits Based Index (TBI) indicators, derived from October data when all taxa are monitored. ...

Auckland Council technical report TR2018/010

Last updated: 2019-07-17