Latest news

A combination of artificial intelligence and scientific ingenuity looks set to be the next step forward in protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s lakes and rivers from invasive aquatic weeds.
Environmental monitoring technician Patrick Butler has spent hours travelling between the upper and lower reaches of Canterbury’s Waimakariri and Hurunui Rivers. His mission – river water quality sampling.
How much is too much? Susan Pepperell looks at some of the tough decisions looming around access to freshwater and how science is helping with solutions.
A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.

Our work

NIWA is looking for people who have had a long association with the Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds to help them with a research project on juvenile fish habitats.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and NIWA worked collaboratively during 2018-19 to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
NIWA has developed an Urban Stormwater Contaminant (USC) model to enable urban planners to predict sedimentation and heavy metal accumulation in estuaries and identify problem areas in order to target mitigation measures.
Excessive nutrient input (eutrophication) threatens many New Zealand estuaries causing ecological problems, such as algal blooms and poor physical and chemical conditions for estuarine life.

Latest videos

The world's most mysterious fish

A video about The world's most mysterious fish. NIWA researchers are working with iwi to try to unlock the secrets of New Zealand tuna—freshwater eels. Every year tiny, glass eels wash in on the tide at river mouths along our coast. But where do they come from and how do they get there?


A number of individuals, organisations and hapū have contributed to the development of Ngā Waihotanga Iho.

This section outlines some practical matters you need to consider before using any of the modules.

This manual aims to provide the guidance needed to manage mangrove expansion, while maintaining the ecological integrity of estuaries and harbours.

New Zealand’s mangrove swamps and coastal marshes may be particularly adept at absorbing and storing the carbon we emit.

Once you have identified the problem, and applied the necessary tools for restoring kōura to your stream, the next phase of your project is to monitor the site to see whether restoration works.
The tools available for restoring kōura to lakes and streams depend on what is causing kōura to decline.
Habitat and biological factors factors affect why kōura rare or absent in your waterway.
First, determine if kōura should be present in your stream.
Identifying the factors causing kōura numbers to decline will allow you to determine which restoration tools you need to employ.
Habitat degradation and the introduction of exotic plant and fish species have adversely affected kōura populations throughout New Zealand. However, there are a number of measures that we can use to restore kōura populations in lakes, rivers and streams.
New research has revealed that citizen science monitoring of water is a win-win for scientists and volunteers—one gains access to new data, and the other the skills and confidence to become involved in discussions over what is happening to their streams.
NIWA is looking for people who have had a long association with the Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds to help them with a research project on juvenile fish habitats.
Iwi has joined forces with councils and NIWA to restore an estuarine ecosystem to its former health.

Freshwater Update 71 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries centre, including stories about: the implications of climate change on our freshwater; blocking nature to nuture a lake ecosystem; nine new freshwater and estuaries research programmes; and all about a co-development workshop for freshwaters.

In comparison to the vast span of geological time, the estuaries that we see today are very recent coastal features.

The type of sediment that is deposited in your estuary, be it mud or sand, and how quickly it is deposited, has a big influence on what your estuary will look like, how clear the water will be, and the types of plants and animals that can live in it.

What happens when communities monitor their local streams?

“Citizen science” is a buzz word in environment and conservation circles these days. New technologies and increasing concern about the state of our environment are coming together, and more members of the public are getting out there to monitor everything from snowfall to shifts in species distributions. With freshwater quality still the number one environmental issue of public concern in New Zealand, it is not surprising that stream monitoring is a growing area for citizen science.

The Water Accounts of New Zealand

Water resources are important to New Zealand’s economy and electricity supply and we are fortunate to receive as much precipitation as we do. Compared with many other countries New Zealand is relative water-rich. But this abundance varies from year to year, month to month, and region to region, leaving some places with too much at times (flooding) or with too little (drought).
Freshwater Update 70 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries centre, including an Account of New Zealand Water, NIWA's Eddy Covariance Towers, A hydrologically sensitive invertebrate community index for New Zealand rivers, a look at what happens when communities monitor their local streams, Mangrove forests and the warming of lake surface waters around the world.



All staff working on this subject

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Principal Technician - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Ecosystem Modelling
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Freshwater Hydro-Ecologist
Manager - Coasts and Oceans
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes
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Coastal Technician
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Marine Ecology Technician
Hydrodynamics Scientist
Resource Management Scientist
Regional Manager - Auckland
Maori Organisational Development Manager
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