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Our Northland - Your Stories
Tō Tātou Taitokerau - Ō ake pūrākau
Kia ora and welcome to the latest edition of Tō Tātou Taitokerau, Ō ake pūrākau - Our Northland, Your Stories. News, events and updated for across our region.
In this issue...
  • Aquatic life under pressure in the big dry
  • Drought assistance: Where to find help
  • What’s that in the water?
  • Big opportunities, big responsibilities
  • VIDEO: A new generation of environmental action
  • What’s on in March
Featured story
Electric fishing at Puketi Forest

Aquatic life under pressure in the big dry  
Northland is in the grip of a major drought that’s having a huge impact on the wellbeing of our communities, our agriculture and wider economy.

With rivers and streams around Te Taitokerau dwindling to record lows, what does the big dry mean for our region’s freshwater ecosystems? 

“Current extreme low flows, high temperatures and long daylight hours are putting Northland’s streams under real pressure,” says Northland Regional Council’s science team manager Jean-Charles Perquin.

“With these conditions, and with no rain to flush our waterways clean, we’re seeing an upsurge in algal blooms which can wreak havoc with oxygen levels in the water.” 

He says another issue is water temperature – warm stream temperatures stress most aquatic organisms and can be lethal, particularly to sensitive invertebrates and fish.

“The impacts on our waterways is another reason we all need to do our bit to conserve water and get through this drought in the best shape possible.” 

Read the full story on our website

Drought assistance

If you require assistance because of the drought, there are several agencies that can help you and your whānau. See more at 

What’s that in the water?
It’s algae, and it’s a common feature in waterways as temperatures rise and water levels drop. Algal blooms may look nasty but they’re a natural occurrence and most aren’t a risk to human health.  The one to be careful of is cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae.  Many cyanobacteria strains can produce toxins that are a health risk to both humans and animals. 
Learn more about algal blooms on our website

A new generation of environmental action 
Comrie Park Kindergarten’s inspirational journey with its young students and the wider community saw it recognised as overall winner at last year’s Environmental Awards. 

This kindy was one of the earliest to join the pre-school arm of our Enviroschools programme.

Now, we’re thrilled to welcome 15 new early learning centres into the Enviroschools fold – a new generation of environmental action.

Check out this video on Comrie Kindergarten, which highlights the value of starting the journey early. 

Watch the video on youtube
Water storage boost
As our region grapples with record dry conditions, last month’s Government announcement of a $12 million boost for Northland’s water storage and use project offers some good news for our future.
Learn more about water storage
Environmental Awards
Entries are now open for Northland Regional Council’s Whakamānawa ā Taio Environmental Awards, recognising and celebrating kaitiakitanga in action. It’s time to get nominating! Entries are open until 22 March.
View the awards categories
Kōrero mai – have your say!
We're currently asking for feedback on our annual plan and our user fees and charges. Changes are needed to keep up momentum and gear up for change ahead, but first we want to hear from you!
Have your say by 27 March
Featured story

Big opportunities, big responsibilities –
we must get it right

Five massive infrastructure projects could be a game-changer for Northland’s future so it’s critical that they’re done right says Northland Regional Council. 

It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our region, and it’s vital that any development is carefully woven together with the needs of our region’s environment and people.   

The government has announced funding four-laning of State Highway One from Whangārei to Marsden Pt, and improvements to the region’s rail link. 

Additionally, expansion of Northport as Auckland’s port closes, relocation of the naval base from Devonport, and a dry dock to enable large ship repairs have been proposed.
Read the full story

What's on in March

NZAEE Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana   
New Zealand’s annual national week celebrating the sea. 29 Feb - 8 March. Check out our Facebook page for Seaweek events around the region.

Northland Field Days
Come and see our team site 251
5-7 March. 33 Awakino Point East Road, Dargaville.

Hokianga Festival for Change
An event celbrating positive solutions for environmental and social change.
Rawene and Kohukohu.
Ocean Fest Northland with Steve Hathaway
Join us for an evening in Kerikeri about connecting with our coast
Tue 3 March  6-8:30pm, 144 Kerikeri Rd (Cornerstone – Whare Karakia o Manako)

Kai Iwi Lakes Open Day
Enjoy this conservation-themed, family-friendly day at the lakes
Sat 21 March. 10am-3pm, Pine Beach, Lake Taharoa.

Looking for more great Northland stories?

For even more stories and updates about the great work happening around the region, why not check out Our Northland - Tō Tātou Taitokerau on the Northland Regional Council website.
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