Health of the harbour
The Manukau Harbour is a large harbour and home to hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders who live around its shores.
The condition of the harbour is vital for the health and wellbeing of the people who live, work, and spend time around it.
A healthy harbour will:
- allow safe swimming without the fear of getting sick
- improve marine life habitats
- protect native species
- promote biodiversity.
Problems facing the harbour
Water quality, biodiversity and ecological processes are all affected by changes in human activity and how we use our land and water.
Poor harbour health limits our leisure activities and makes it harder for us to engage with the natural environment.
The harbour’s health has declined through decades of human activity, including:
- urbanisation and a growing population
- sewage and industrial liquid waste
- climate change and rising sea levels
- stormwater and wastewater contamination
- run-off sediments, pesticides and pollutants
- introduction of non-native plant and animal pests
- rubbish dumping
- fishing and recreational activities.
Supporting the health of the harbour
Auckland Council and local boards provide funding for projects to improve and support the health of the Manukau Harbour and its wider environment. Many of these projects are also supported through local iwi and community fundraising initiatives.
- predator pulses (trapping rats, mice, possums and stoats)
- weeding and planting
- street sweeping
- beach clean-ups
- habitat regeneration
- educational outreach to schools and businesses
Wastewater infrastructure upgrades.
Swimming in the harbour
There are many safe swimming beaches on the Manukau Harbour. Just like in any harbour, you should be careful of tides and currents, boats and general water safety.
For up-to-date information about the harbour’s water quality and swimming conditions see the SafeSwim website.
Marine pests in the harbour
A 2019 survey of marine pests found non-native Asian paddle crabs (Charybdis japonica) and Asian Date Mussels
(Arcuatula senhousia) in the harbour.
Read the Manukau Harbour targeted marine pest survey.
Joining a community group is a great way to help the harbour.
Community groups need volunteers to help with:
- clearing up rubbish
- weed and animal pest control
- fundraising and marketing.
To find out more about community groups and the events you can get involved in see the
Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau (Conservation Auckland) website.
If you notice pollution entering the harbour, call the pollution hotline on
09 377 3107 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
To find out more about reporting pollution, see our
Report pollution page.
The Manukau Harbour Forum meets six times a year.
To read the agendas and minutes from the meetings and to find out when the next meeting is, see the
Manukau Harbour Forums meetings page.
Attend a forum meeting
Forum meetings are held in two parts:
- The first part of the forum meeting is a workshop for forum members.
- The second part of the forum is an open meeting for the public.
Anyone can attend and speak at the public meeting.
Contact a forum member
email@example.com to contact a member of the Manukau Harbour Forum.
Read a 2021 report about the health of the Manukau Harbour
A synthesis of State of the Environment Monitoring in the Manukau Harbour (PDF 5.6MB).