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Natural Environment / Taiao

The Natural Environment within the Whaingaroa area is diverse and comprises many types of natural habitat encompassing our unique rugged coastline and a range of land types with underlying rocks including limestone, volcanic and mudstones. The land varies from very steep and unstable to gentle fertile river valleys.

The forest covered Mt Karioi is the largest formally protected area in the catchment. Extensive predator control is currently being carried out on the maunga and surrounding land my the Karioi Maunga ke te Moana project.

The Harbour – The Whaingaroa harbour catchment covers 525 km2 and the harbour covers 35 km2 and has 220 km of coastline. It runs 12 km inland from the entrance, for the most part is less than 2 km wide. Many small streams draining the steep catchment join to form larger rivers such as the Waingaro, Kerikeri, Waitetuna, Wainui and others. These feed into the many arms of the Whaingaroa harbour. Raiparian fencing and planting by landowners and Whaingaroa Harbour care over the past 20 years has improved the water quality within the harbour.

Groups & Organisations

  • Xtreme Zero Waste
  • Whāingaroa Environment Centre
  • Karioi Project
  • Para Kore
  • Weedbusters


  • Whāingaroa Repair Cafe
  • Raglan Grower’s Market
  • Whāingaroa Community Gardens
  • Pest Management on Karioi Maunga
  • Crop Swap
  • Beach Cleans


  • Local Planning Documents
  • Weed species to look out for
  • Recycling Guide
  • Waste and Climate Change

Get Involved

  • Xtreme Zero Waste – Currently hiring
  • Whāingaroa Environment Centre – Take part in an event
  • Karioi Project – Volunteer!
  • Para Kore – Volunteer!
  • Weedbusters – Volunteer!





What we have

Hapu/Tangata Whenua
Large, engaged and diverse volunteer base
Environmental professionals (skills in community)
Permaculture Community
Environmental / organic agriculturalists
Eco-tourists (visiting because of Raglan’s eco-reputation)
Passionate, supportive and engaged individuals and community

Whaingaroa Harbour – extensive and varied ecosystems
Karioi (one of 12 outstanding natural features and landscapes of regional significance)
Surf Breaks (national significance)
Wetlands – Aro Aro,
Waireinga / Bridal Veil Falls
Raglan is surrounded by wild places, many with good access
Sand dune ecosystems
Hopes and Johnsons Bush on the deviation that receive intense pest control as they are halo sites and key in the Tui numbers increasing
Toreparu Wetland – the second largest coastal wetland in the north island.
Manuaitu paa site, one of the largest pre-European site’s

Māui Dolphin

Whaingaroa Environment Centre
Xtreme Zero Waste
Whaingaroa Harbour Care
Karioi Project
Coastal Reserves Committee
Board Riders Club
Sport Fishing Club
Local Schools
Waikato District Council
Waikato Regional Council
West Coast Zone Committee
Waikato Biodiversity Forum

Māui Dolphin Day
Predator control network around town / coast / mountain
Many Environmental Education initiatives
Local environmental initiatives (e.g. PBFR) have positive impact on natural environment
Township is surrounded by wild places – connects people to natural environment. Attracts people to the area (to visit and to live)
Raglan has many success stories

Long tradition of community-driven environmental initiatives
Good community support for environmental initiatives
Many local businesses are environmentally aware

Common themes in our community:

Protect flora & fauna

Pest control

Community gardens & food forest

Remove litter from beaches & other public places

Tree planting

Control of weeds

No spray

Environmental education


Protection and enhancement of our natural areas and wildlife (land and sea).

All plants, animals, fish and shellfish are managed to protect the resource for future generations to enjoy their use at the same levels as today, and if possible restore stocks to better levels.

Community and individual ownership of environmental problems.

Environmentally conscious development.

No pollution (land and sea).

Climate change action.

Continue to be a national and global leader on environmental issues.

Possible pathways toward achieving these aspirations

Plant more native plants and set traps for pests to help our native animals.

Manage weeds without spraying.

Fruit trees in all parks and reserves.

  • Continue to support local organisations working in the environmental space e.g. Whaingaroa Harbour Care, Xtreme Zero Waste and Whaingaroa Environment Centre.
  • Accessible green spaces including mixed ability access ways (i.e. pushchair, wheelchair, flat options)
  • All harbour catchment waterways are appropriately fenced and riparian buffer zones planted in native species
  • Community gardens and food forests. Fruit trees in public spaces.
  • Community is aware of what is going on, and empowered to have their voices heard
  • Continue sand dune planting and protection to act as natural buffers for sea-level rise and coastal erosion
  • Continued priority and resources for waste management, moving towards zero waste.
  • Eco-tourism
  • Environmental education for all ages (adults and children)
  • Harbour-wide development consents taking into account changing sea levels
  • Landowners implementing land use practices that protect the soil and water e.g. organic, regenerative, sustainable practices
  • More local food production on a range of scales (backyard to commercial)
  • More restored forest mimicking Wainui Bush Reserve
  • No storm water or wastewater discharge to sea
  • Planting of native trees
  • Reduction of animal pest species
  • Removal of pest plant species (public and private land), manage weeds without use of spraying when/where possible
  • Restoration of wetlands and conversion of marginal land to bush or wetland
  • Sound environmental urban and rural planning
  • Encourage construction and development to consider eco building and sustainable backyards
  • Video for tourists and new residents – ‘this is how we do it in Raglan’ – inspiring habit change for environmental protection
  • Walking track connecting township to beaches and surf breaks – connects people to the environment, encourages people out of cars
  • Waste water treatment plant upgrade – land-based system, circular economy
  • Promote local, healthy, sustainable plant-based food
  • Review the Whaingaroa Harbour Catchment Plan and work with the Regional Council on their Harbour Catchment Management Plans