Northland has an abundance of rivers and streams and our narrow land mass ensures that most of our rivers are relatively short, draining small catchment areas. None of our rivers are considered large on a national scale.
Our rivers and streams provide habitat for a range of indigenous flora and fauna, as well as being an important water supply for rural communities, horticulture and agricultural demands. Our rivers and streams also provide important recreational, aesthetic and cultural value to our community.
Pollution is delivered to our rivers and streams directly from industrial discharges, and indirectly during rainfall periods when the rain creates runoff over the land, which then enters our waterways. Because our rivers are comparatively small they have little capacity to dilute the contaminants they receive and are therefore considered sensitive receiving environments. As the majority of Northland's rivers flow into harbours rather than open coastline, poor river water quality can also affect the health of our harbours.
Photo: Hakaru River