Extra Video



People enjoy the Porirua Harbour for all kinds of reasons. In this episode a range of people share with us their love of the harbour. But will they be able to enjoy these activities into the future?

What is the spiritual significance of waka-ama?

What are the rules for using motorboats on the harbour?

Why does sewage end up in the harbour after rain?



Fishing is our window into the underwater world of the Porirua Harbour. Recreational fishermen now find their catches are limited and scientists explore the local ecosystem.

How did Ngati Toa share the bounty of the harbour with other iwi?

How do rig locate food?

What do we know about rig's feeding habits in the harbour?

Do dolphins come into the harbour?



Many birds call the Porirua Harbour home. When the striking pied shags arrive and take up residence in trees next to the estuary, neighbours are forced to consider how close they want the wildlife.

What do shags use use to build there nests?

What are some interesting observations about shags?

What sort of trees do shags nest in?



Storm water pollutes the Porirua Harbour. More than 70 stormwater outlets draining residential, commercial and industrial areas. Storm water is rainfall which runs off hard surfaces; roads, pavements, carparks and roofs and eventually into the harbour. Scientists regularly monitor the harbour for pollutants. Historically the harbour was also polluted with sewage from the old Porirua Hospital.

Why are estuaries important?

Why are the mudflats special?

How does mud effect cockles?

What else can be done to limit pollution in the harbour?



Low tides at Porirua Harbour expose broadmud and sand flats. We show the creatures and birds who share this space.

What make the trails on the sand?

What do stingray holes look like?

Why are there high and low tides?

Where do pied stilts nest?


Urban Catchment

The streams that feed into Porirua Harbour flow through many landscapes. Dr Mike Joy, outspoken fresh water scientist shows us some of the creatures who live in urban streams and he talks about the ways we can protect them.

What are whitebait?

What are the threats to whitebait?


Pauatahanui Reserve

In pre-human times the streams flowing into Porirua Harbour meandered through extensive swampy marshlands. These rich ecosystems helped maintain the diversity of life in the harbour. Today few original swamps remain but volunteers have successfully recreated a varied marshland, the Pauatahanui Reserve, in the eastern corner of the Harbour.

How was Pauatahanui formed?

What unique plants are found in the reserve?

What is the vision for the Reserve?

What are the most common plants in the reserve?



Sediment filling up the harbour is the biggest threat to Porirua harbour. What is it? Where does it come from and how can we fix it?

How did Porirua habour form?

How does Porirua harbour differ from other estuaries?

What effect will climate change have on Porirua harbour?

What happens to Porirua harbour when it rains heavily?


Creatures Great & Small

Many creatures, including black swans and cockles,  play their part in the complex ecology of Porirua Harbour.

What effect do the swans have on the eel grass (zostra) beds?

How often is the cockle count done?

Do swans live on the harbour all year round?

What is a moult?


The Rural Catchment

Water erodes the steep hill surfaces of much of the catchment and scours the banks of the many streams that flow into the Harbour.

How does algae support life of the stream?

What does sediment consist of?

What can rural land owners do to improve the quality of their streams?

How do wetlands protect the harbour?


Industrial Catchment

Porirua Harbour industrial catchment extends south from the Onepoto arm to Johnsonville. Porirua stream flows industrial, commercial and residential areas. 

What are the observed effects of chemicals on fresh water fish?

How would Porirua CBD have looked in 1940?

Is there any original forest left?

What kind of incidents pollute the Porirua stream?


The Future

We look back at some of the ideas discussed in earlier months while also looking at the future.

What can residents do to protect the habour?

What is the Porirua Habour & Catchment, Strategy and Action plan?

What can members of the public do to help?

How do vehicles pollute the habour?