Restoring the Wairoa River

The Wairoa River

The beautiful Wairoa River is the second largest river in Auckland and is a taonga rich in resources.

The river and its tributaries form  a rich habitat for wildlife and plants. Its ecosystem is an important contributor to environmental protection locally. The river is also a source of household water for thousands of people around the region.


The Wairoa River stretches from the Hunua Ranges to Poutou Point in south-east Auckland. Together with its tributaries, it passes through many communities including Ararimu, Paparimu, Hunua, the Ness Valley, Ardmore and Clevedon.

The river system runs through valuable farming land and is the lifeblood of the local area.

Kaitiaki guardians

Friends of Te Wairoa is a group of volunteer community members that works together to restore the health and mauri of the Wairoa River.

We recognise the special role of the local iwi, Ngā Tai ki Tāmaki, as kaitiaki or guardians of the river and we have a positive working relationship with them.


Over the years the river’s health has deteriorated. The use of dams and new land use patterns have affected the river’s flow and cleanliness.

In partnership with Auckland Council and Franklin Local Board and in consultation with the local iwi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Friends of Te Wairoa aims to restore the river to a healthy, cleaner state so it becomes Auckland’s most swimmable river.

We run planting events, provide help with pest control and provide free advice on how you can play your part in restoring the river to its former glory. Whether you are a landowner that wants to take action, a volunteer keen to help with planting, or someone with useful skills to contribute, we’d love to hear from you.

Photos: Jodie Little, Stephen Nicholson, Tony Thompson, Brendan Vallings


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