Urban stream restoration and community engagement: examples from New Zealand

Authored by Jo Campbell, Jan Heijs, Dorothy Wilson, Helen Haslam, Dot Dalziell, Tony Miguel, Sue Bidrose and Caleb Clarke. Prepared for 2010 NZ Stormwater Conference.


Several examples of urban stream restoration and community engagement are summarised and compared from across New Zealand.

Urban streams are usually highly modified from their natural, pre-urban state, with significant differences in stream and riparian habitat, stream flow and water quality. Typically, streams in urban areas serve a variety of functions: habitat, urban drainage, flood management and public amenity (including linkages to open space), and can include special cultural and community significance. The examples presented are streams in the Birkenhead and Browns Bay areas of North Shore City, Meola Creek in Auckland City and Project Twin Streams in Waitakere City in the Auckland region; Waitangi Park wetland in Wellington City; and the urban rivers of Christchurch. These examples demonstrate the variety of manners in which urban stream restoration and protection is occurring in new Zealand. The examples, furthermore, demonstrate the range of methods and levels in which the community and private landowners are engaged by local governments, and how government and community work together for improved stream restoration and protection in urban areas. Successes reflect a combination of using techniques with proven track record, while tailoring the programmes to reflect the local community and land owners, and the particular local government where the work is undertaken.

Jennifer Howe

Digital Content Manager