Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

Scientists are installing state-of-the-art equipment in the Kaipara Harbour next month that will monitor water quality and help improve their ability to predict water clarity.

Researchers from NIWA, Auckland Council and the Northland Regional Council will establish three Estuarine Monitoring Systems (EMS) at Tikonui Wharf near Ruawai, and at two sites further south in the Hoteo system.

The Tikonui station will measure the water quality of the Wairoa system - the largest freshwater inflow to the harbour and one known from previous NIWA studies to be the dominant source of fine sediment to the harbour.

The other two stations are instrumented buoys located in the tidal reach of the Hoteo River and adjacent harbour at Orongo Point.

The main focus of the stations is to measure water quality in the harbour and tidal creek waters, particularly water clarity which is affected by fine sediment, but also by organic matter and phytoplankton.

Sedimentation in many New Zealand estuaries has increased 10-fold over the last 150 years largely due to land clearance and agricultural conversion. There is increasing appreciation that these fine sediments have major ecological impacts, including preventing light from reaching important ecosystems (such as seagrass). This in turn reduces opportunities for some fish species and sea birds to feed.

The project, which is funded by central and regional government, will also see continuous measurement of water temperature, salinity, tidal height, water currents and waves. The stations will operate continuously, powered by solar panels, and near real-time data will be retrieved remotely.

The data will be used by council staff and NIWA researchers and made publicly available on Auckland Council’s website. It can then be accessed by harbour users to check weather conditions before they venture out.

Andrew Swales, NIWA’s coastal scientist co-ordinating the project, said the new stations were important tools in helping resource managers and researchers better understand the processes affecting the Kaipara Harbour.

“These stations comprise state-of-the-art measuring instruments that will give us the most accurate information possible.”

Auckland Council senior marine scientist Dr Jarrod Walker said this research programme will provide important data on big weather events which contribute large loads of sediment to the harbour. Understanding these types of processes are critical in determining where the main sources of sediment are coming from and what can be done to reduce them.

NIWA principal scientist and project leader, Dr Rob Davies-Colley, said that the stations were a crucial part of studies into fine sediment and other pollutants that affect Kaipara Harbour.

The research is also expected to have national significance. “Diffuse pollutants such as fine sediment, nutrients and microbes are a pervasive problem in many of New Zealand’s waters,” says Dr Davies-Colley. “Our estuaries and other coastal waters are often particularly degraded by these land-derived pollutants.”

A public information evening about the monitoring stations is to be held on Wednesday, 19 March from 7pm at the Mangakura Boat Club, SH16, Hoteo.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news