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Mahurangi Land
Restoration Programme


Project Sub-Catchment Action Plans and Testimonials

The Programme is broken down into four sub-catchments each with their own unique environments, land uses and risks. These sub-catchment action plans are a series covering the sub-catchments of the Mahurangi Harbour

Harjit and Nasha Sidhu

At Kauri Ora Farm, our journey towards environmental stewardship began in 2018 when we embarked on grazing sheep and cattle alongside horticultural production.
Covering 88 hectares, we've witnessed previously eroded slopes revegetating, the shelterbelts we’ve planted help our food production, and our streams become cleaner.

Our proudest achievement? Planting over 20,000 native trees in record time, thanks to invaluable support and funding. Witnessing the resurgence of native biodiversity in our streams inspires us continue our commitment to waterway protection. By simply repairing fences, we've seen livestock kept out and biodiversity restored with kōura, eels and whitebait (kōkopu) flourishing.


The MLRP offered crucial advice and funding for native tree planting and fencing. This support has been instrumental in realising our environmental goals, ensuring a balance between food production and ecosystem health.


For fellow landowners, we emphasise the importance of establishing proper fencing as a first step towards regeneration. Even without planting, the land can regenerate naturally when livestock are kept away from native bush areas. And get guidance from MLRP—they've been invaluable partners in our journey towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Mahu West Pest group

Mahu West Pest, a dedicated volunteer group, was established in 2020. Operating across 3,500ha, we've witnessed remarkable improvements in native plant health and bird diversity on the Mahurangi peninsula.


Our achievements speak volumes: laying and monitoring trap lines, engaging over 200 households through newsletters and social media, and spearheading invasive plant removal and native planting projects.


Collaborating with Auckland Council and the likes of MLRP, we're committed to safeguarding waterways and restoring biodiversity.


MLRP's support has been instrumental, facilitating site visits and grant assistance for vital projects like plant procurement.


For us, engaging rural landowners is key: sharing knowledge, resources, and leadership fosters community involvement.

To fellow community groups, we advise creating a dedicated team, devising a comprehensive plan, and leveraging community connections for collective impact.


Together, we can protect our precious ecosystems and build a sustainable future for the Mahurangi catchment.

Ian and Maree Scott

Over the past 13 years, we've seen remarkable changes on our 5-acre property. We’ve had a few challenges like extreme weather creating a wetland on a low part of the property, but now what was a run-down overgrown block is a safe haven for birds and wildlife with native trees and a beautiful pond.

When we first shifted onto the property we came from the city and had no prior knowledge of native trees or environmental restoration MLRP has been invaluable, teaching us about environmental restoration and inspiring us to preserve our land for future generations.


We have been privileged to be part of the MLRP and to have access to their expertise, support, advice, encouragement and enthusiasm.

Our advice to others? Get involved, seek guidance, and persevere. It's hard work, but it’s worth it - the rewards are immeasurable.


Together, we can make a difference for our planet's future.

Roger and Robyn Dunn

Having run our beef cattle farm for nearly three decades on Kaipara Flats Road, we've witnessed significant environmental shifts, notably warmer and drier conditions despite recent wet winters.


Our proudest accomplishments include fencing off waterways, eradicating exotic weeds, pest control, and creating habitats for birds.


Registering a small woodlot for carbon sequestration and propagating 600 native seedlings annually are further achievements we’re proud of.


Protecting waterways isn't just an obligation, it's vital for farm sustainability, reducing runoff and enhancing animal welfare.

Participating in the MLRP provided invaluable guidance on native plants and fencing, crucial for safeguarding the Mahurangi River and Hauraki Gulf.


Our advice? Prioritise secure fencing, utilise tools like iNaturalist, and leverage MLRP's support for tangible environmental and property benefits.


Together, we can cultivate thriving ecosystems while sustaining productive farms for generations to come.

What's the problem with sediment?

Sediment is ranked the third-highest threat to marine habitats in New Zealand and it is estimated that 21,000 tonnes is lost every year from the Mahurangi catchment. 
Eroded soil ends up in our estuaries and harbours where it can accumulate and cause a decline in water quality, aquatic life and biodiversity of the entire area. 

Human activities such as urban development, roading and agriculture can speed up the process of erosion, causing more sediment loss into our rivers and streams.


Meet the team


Te Ao Rosieur,
Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust

Te Ao facilitates cultural engagement for the project and advocates for cultural enhancement and matauranga māori.
Te Ao is passionate about connecting with the community to ensure the mana and mauri of the whenua is restored.

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Matt Williams,
Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust

Matt is the Kaihautu who will be coordinating a Cultural Value’s Assessment on behalf of the Manuhiri Kaitiaki Charitable Trust.
Matt is passionate about marine protection and upholding kaitiakitanga on behalf of the Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust.

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Merrin Whatley (PhD),
Freshwater Science Advisor

Merrin has a background in Freshwater Ecology - specialising in rural catchment management with over 15 years of experience working in both New Zealand and the Netherlands. She feels a strong connection to Mahurangi from childhood holidays spent there and has been professionally involved in the catchment both before and after her time overseas. 

Merrin has a passion for helping local communities develop innovative solutions to achieve meaningful environmental outcomes.

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Colleen Brent,
Co-Project Manager

Colleen is an Environmental Scientist and has worked across the Auckland region in environmental and stream issues for 15 years. Her specialty is freshwater management, in particular stream restoration, improving fish passage, and assessing and remediating of stream bank erosion. 

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Keerthi Vericharla,
Programme Admin Support

Keerthi ensures everything in the project is going smoothly.  For over a year, she has been working at Auckland Council across various teams and departments.  Keerthi is skilled in documentation, working in SAP, processing payments and responding to team member requests.


Holly Fleming,

Land Advisor

Holly’s background is in water quality and marine ecology. She is passionate about working across different sectors to achieve environmental goals.


Leanna Birch,
Rural Programme Advisor

Leanna has a background in environmental restoration, farm environment planning and farming. She is passionate about helping landowners achieve their fencing and planting projects.

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Sophie's background is in freshwater ecology and riparian restoration. She is local to Warkworth and has spent the last five years working in the Mahurangi River catchment. She loves planting trees and is passionate about supporting others to restore the natural environment. 

Sophie Tweddle,
Planting Co-ordinator

MLRP focuses on four areas of human activity causing sediment loss: small construction sites, forestry areas, rural land use and unsealed roads.

Small construction sites

We'll expand Auckland Council's existing programme, Closing the Gap, to reduce pollution from construction activities. The more that these construction sites are compliant with existing regulations, the better we can safeguard our waterways from the pressures of developments.


We'll do this by increasing the number of monitoring specialists in the area to evaluate small construction sites and provide technical assistance to builders.

Rural land use

We'll provide funding and support to help local landowners protect areas of sediment loss on their properties. We'll also support community restoration projects on public land.


To ensure we are targeting the right areas, we're carrying out ongoing studies to monitor sediment lost from rural areas. 


We'll work alongside landowners of forestry areas, enabling them to play a more significant role in preventing erosion events before they happen.


We'll do this by building a network of landowners interested in harvesting timber and providing them with critical materials on low impact harvesting techniques and regulatory requirements.


Support will also be provided to address post-harvest opportunities, whether it’s replanting for future harvests or restoring the landscape with native vegetation.

Unsealed roads

We'll pilot 'Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance' techniques designed to reduce sediment loss from dirt and gravel roads. These techniques will also extend the lifetime of these roads.

This approach has environmental, economic, and connectivity-related benefits.



Contact us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the MLRP project.

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