Skip to main content
Auckland Council
Online services outage
More Some online services will be unavailable from 6pm on Friday 22 February until 7pm on Saturday 23 February. Learn moreOnline services outage

Freshwater report card, Wellsford reporting area 2016

Area grade: C

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 biogeochemical functions.

Habitat quality: This involves monitoring the diversity and quality of habitats using the
SEV habitat provision functions.

Biodiversity: Field assessments and samples are collected to assess the type and amount of native plants and animals using the SEV biodiversity functions.

Quick facts

  • The reporting area covers 633KM2 representing 12.9% of the region – the third largest reporting area
  • The land cover is mainly pastoral vegetation (63%) but also contains large areas of native vegetation (20%) and exotic vegetation (15%)
  • The extent of impervious surface (hard surfaces) is the lowest of any reporting area (1%) and is much lower than 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 Wellsford reporting area is predominantly pastoral, but large forested areas still remain. As a result, the health of the area’s rivers is considered to be above average. Rivers in this area tend to have riparian margins with some trees and bush, which provide shade, leaf litter and woody debris to the stream and anchor the stream banks. The debris enhances the quality of habitat for flora and fauna, although some of the original riparian vegetation has been removed to allow more intensive land use. The low level of urban development means there is little channel modification or pollution from discharges or stormwater, although there may be diffuse sources of contaminants from the pastoral land use and physical damage from stock access.

Wai Care Rodney

Wai Care is a water quality education, monitoring and action programme managed by Auckland Council, for schools and community groups in the Auckland region.

The programme aims to educate people about freshwater issues and encourage and facilitate action in the local community, from water quality monitoring to streamside
planting and litter clean-ups.

The following table shows achievements of the Wai Care Programme in Rodney during
the 2015/2016 financial year.
​Achievement​Total Rodney 2015/16​Total Auckland 2015/16
​Active groups18​152
​Sites monitored​57​256
​Education sessions​71​373
​Students involved in education​1943​11118
​Action events​5​106
​People involved in action​555​4217
​Native trees planted​970​28577
For more information on Wai Care, or to view site data for your area, go to
or call 09 301 0101 and ask for Wai Care.