The Guardians of the Ruakituri River

Catchment Community Group

Catchment area

Regions: Hawkes Bay, Wairoa

The Ruakituri River traverses vastly different landscapes over its journey from the headwaters in Te Urewera National Park, to where it merges with the Hangaroa River, feeding into the Wairoa River via the sacred Te Reinga falls, 35km north of Wairoa township. 
Whilst the river beginnings are deep within rugged native bush, a significant stretch of the length is bounded by hill country, sheep & beef farms with numerous tributaries.



The Guardians of the Ruakituri River’s vision, is to protect and enhance the environmental, cultural, spiritual and economic values of the Ruakituri catchment and beyond.

We are a diverse community from small to large landholdings with 70% of the land mass in Maori ownership. 100% of farms along the river catchment have joined the group and are actively ensuring their businesses are improving environmental outcomes whilst remaining productive and profitable into the future.
The group expects that their effort will contribute to the enhancement of the water quality in the Wairoa basin over time.

The Ruakituri is hugely significant to tangata whenua and local farmers, and is regarded as an iconic river.  The Ruakituri was placed in ‘Group 1’ of the governments list of rivers and lakes deserving protection for its exceptional scenery, fishing, recreational, wildlife and wilderness qualities. It has also been given World Heritage Status.

“ Ka ora te whenua me te hapori i te oranga o te awa”   

  “ If the river is thriving so too will the land and the people”.

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To: The Guardians of the Ruakituri River