In 2004 local residents had found their local area had become quieter. Most native birds had vanished from the land and sightings had become rare. Local citizens decided to do something about it, forming the environmentally aware and active community group The Uretara Estuary Managers.

Many problems were identified in the Uretara catchment, and step by step the volunteers began work on varying environmental projects. The scope of the enterprise is large.

Uretara Estuary Managers aim to manage and improve the estuary downstream from Katikati, and its catchment by:

  • Encouraging native birdlife along the Yeoman and Uretara Walkways  and further round the estuary shore line by baiting for rodents during the nesting season
  • Working with Western Bay of Plenty District Council Parks  and Reserves staff controlling weeds and planting and maintaining native plants along the estuary walkways
  • Working with landowners, with funding support from our local authorities and the Ministry of the Environment, to restore and plant stream banks in the upper catchment in order to reduce siltation in the Uretara Estuary and Tauranga Harbour.
  • Eco-sourcing seeds and cuttings of suitable native plants  for our planting projects and growing them in our nursery in the grounds of Lexham Park
  • Working with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to control mangrove spread across the estuary and into the salt marsh area at the mouth of the Uretara Stream
  • Supporting college and polytechnic students undertaking environmental programmes related to our estuary and catchment
  • Spreading the word about the need to protect and restore our streams and estuaries


We all agree that the rewards of working with others to improve our environment far outweigh the time and effort involved. We welcome new volunteers. Contact Sue Morris, ph 07 549 2147 or Rosalie Smith, ph 07 549 2422.

For more information please follow this link –