Research and measurement of the health of our Awa is critical to our work to restore it to it's natural state.  We work closely with Auckland Council and scientific research helps guide our strategy to achieve our goals.

Coastal and Estuarine Water Quality: 2019 Annual Data Report

The Auckland Council released this report in August 2020 which is the technical report for Water Quality at 31 sites around Auckland and includes our awa Te Wai o Pareira (Henderson Creek). 

This report reviews the monitoring of nutrients in Te Wai o Pareira (Henderson Creek).  Nutrients are a measure of parameters that affect biological growth such as algae in the waters, visual clarity and level of oxygen required  to support aquatic species.  The water quality is expressed in terms of WQI (Water Quality Index).

Te Wai o Pareira / Henderson Creek is classified as Marginal (and better than expected) with a WQI of 60.  The minimum WQI for the next rating of fair is 65.

It is not as good as the Whau River, which is Fair with a WQI  of 75.

The Upper Harbour creeks - Brigham's Creek, Paremoremo, Lucas Creek and Rangitopuni Creek are rated as Poor, with WQI ranging from 38 to 50 (i.e. much worse that Henderson Creek).

This monitoring doesn't cover biological contamination from sewage outflows or toxic discharges from urban and industrial land use.  All this illustrates the importance of including regular monitoring of sewage and toxic parameters so we understand the health of our awa.  It is the mission of this group to promote regular independent testing and share the results with our community.

Read a full copy of the report here.


The Auckland Plan 2020


The Auckland Plan has this to say about our Awa:

Te Atatu - Henderson Creek

"This is an area of saltmarsh, mangroves, shell-banks and estuarine harbour intertidal banks forming a complex habitat for a variety of animal and plant communities.....

Saline vegetation also grows in the shelter of Henderson Creek. Here the edges of the creek are lined with mature mangroves which grow in association with areas of saltmarsh at the mouth of the creek and sedges and eelgrass further up the creek.  In one place 955d) there is an important gradation between saline vegetation in the intertidal areas and native towai forest on the slopes above.

On part of the coast at Te Atatu North (55c) are found remnants of swamp and estuarine vegetation of Pleistocene age now exposed at intertidal levels. The site is considered to be a regionally important geological site."

[Reference - Auckland Council Coastal Plan: Coastal Map 26, Schedule 3 and Schedule 7]

Taipari Strand water test results June 2020

Between 1965 and 1974 there was an active landfill on Taipari Strand. We have recently been able to get some analysis performed on the impacts of this landfill on the Awa by Dr Peter Nelson, who has reviewed the available data.  Read Peter's report here.


Here are some links to current research:

Media Articles

Here are some links to relevant press articles on our Awa:


  • Te Wai o Pareira among many West Auckland place names restored to the Maori names