Area grade: D
What makes up this grade?
The overall grade is made up of five indicators:
Water quality: Water samples are tested for temperature,
oxygen concentration, turbidity and the levels of pH, ammonia and nutrients
(nitrogen and phosphorus). The results of this testing are compared against
guidelines for Auckland to produce a water quality index.
Flow patterns: This involves monitoring the hydrologic
connectivity of the river to upstream and downstream reaches and the floodplain
using the Stream Ecological Valuation (SEV), which is a method of assessing the
ecological health of our rivers.
Nutrient cycling: This involves monitoring the inputs and
processing of minerals, particulates and contaminants using the SEV
Habitat quality: This involves monitoring the
diversity and quality of habitats using the
SEV habitat provision
Biodiversity: Field assessments and samples are collected to
assess the type and amount of native plants and animals using the SEV
- The reporting Area covers 53KM2 representing 1.1% of the
- land cover is mainly urban (71%) but it also contains large areas of
pastoral vegetation (19%)
- The extent of impervious surface (hard surfaces) is high (40%) when compared
with the regional average of 9%
Monitoring background and interpretation
Auckland Council’s State of the Environment (SoE) monitoring programme has
been building a record of Auckland’s environment for more than 25 years. This
information is critical to the effective management of Auckland’s natural
environment, after all, you can’t manage what you don’t monitor.
The monitoring programme shows there is a strong relationship between the
health of rivers and the type of land cover in the surrounding catchment. Rivers
that drain through forested catchments (particularly native forests) typically
have excellent water quality and ecology, while rivers that drain from urban
catchments typically have poor water quality and ecology.
The health of Henderson-Massey’s rivers is considered to be impaired. Urban
development has led to a high level of impervious surface in the area, which
prevents rainfall from soaking into the ground. This has follow-on effects for
rivers in the area leading to high water temperatures, changes to the natural
flow patterns and increased pollution from contaminated stormwater.
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For more information on Wai Care,
or to view site data for your area, go to waicare.org.nz or call 09 301 0101 and ask for Wai