Blue Green Network Programme

  • Project typeDevelopment, Water, Transport, Parks
  • Project schedule2021 - 2024
A group of people from the community working on the Blue Green Network.

Our Blue Green programme aims to create an attractive and environmentally sustainable urban environment that restores waterways, provides flood protection and addresses the impacts of climate change.

It looks to reconnect people with nature through better use and restoration of our waterways (blue) and open spaces (green).

Whangārei's urban built area is nestled among a wide, interconnected network of waterways and green spaces, making it ideally suited to a Blue Green network.

In the current Long Term Plan, we committed $20 million for Blue Green projects.

The Blue Green programme includes:

  • shared paths and trails alongside waterways for active recreation
  • ecological restoration
  • fixing infrastructure problems such as fish passage barriers
  • improving water quality by treating stormwater discharges
  • flood mitigation projects
  • identifying recreation and economic development opportunities adjacent to waterways
  • celebrating the culture and history of these areas as part of the unique identity of Whangārei.

Blue Green Network programmes on a map

The Blue-Green Network Programme dashboard shows existing and proposed investments defined in the Blue / Green Network Strategy 2016.  

The content of this map is intended for informational programme management purposes only. 

Further investigations are required to confirm feasibility and support funding decisions. 

Blue-Green Network Programme dashboard (

Programme priorities 2021 - 2024

Five key Blue Green Network projects have been prioritised for 2021 - 2024.

These projects follow the main waterways flowing into the Whangārei Harbour:  the Hātea River, Raumanga Stream and Waiarohia Stream. The scope and timeline of each project will be confirmed over time.

1. Raumanga Stream Rehabilitation

Dense weeds inundating the Raumanga Stream between Bernard Street footbridge and Otaika Road will soon be replaced by native vegetation as part of the Blue - Green Network Programme alongside the Raumanga Shared Path.

Raumanga Shared Path extension project

We plan to commence work on revitalising the Raumanga Stream beginning 19 February 2024, focusing on controlling Giant Reed (Arundo donax) on the northern stream bank and other pest plant species on the southern stream bank growing alongside the shared path.

Giant reed growing along the northern stream bank on Raumanga Stream.

Once the weeds are controlled, the area will be replanted with native vegetation to restore the riparian ecosystem by providing bank stability and riparian shade and shelter. 

Shade is especially important as it helps to lower stream water temperatures, providing suitable conditions for in-stream life.

Leaf litter, small twigs and insects that fall into the stream from riparian plants provide an important food source for microbes and many species of aquatic invertebrates on which fish feed.

A staggered approach will be taken with specific areas of weed infestations and the first round of replanting will commence in July 2024.

Weed control and replanting is expected to be completed in June 2025.

Two years of maintenance will follow through to June 2027.

The protection and enhancement of indigenous biodiversity is at the core of Wildlands Consultants Ltd. Herbicides are an important tool in controlling pest plants at the site and restoring the Raumanga Stream margins.

Controlling pest plants by herbicide reduces the risk of erosion compared to hand or mechanical control, prevents targeted pest plants spreading further, and is effective so reduces the number of repeat treatments required on infestations.

The types of agrichemicals that may be used over the entire revitalisation period include:

  • Glyphosate
  • Triclopyr
  • Metsulfuron
  • Haloxyfop
  • Clopyralid
  • Organosilicone

Field staff will ensure best control methods for each pest plant infestation at the site are followed.

Agrichemical application will be in low volume, diluted correctly, targeted, and sprayed in a minimal concentration.

Further protective measures will be undertaken to reduce any environmental risks posed by herbicide use in line with NZS8409:2021.

2. The Upper Hātea Link

The Upper Hātea Link project connects several different pieces of work by the Northland Transportation Alliance, our Parks and Reserves team, private developers, and community groups.

The project proposed to provide a connected and functional recreational route along the Waitaua Stream from Gillingham Road to Whangārei Falls Reserve.

The project includes shared paths / trails, way-finding signage and riparian planting.

3. The Lower Waiarohia Loop

The Lower Waiarohia Loop project proposes to add additional length of shared path to the well-used Hātea Loop beginning from the Kotuitui Whitinga bridge, looping around both sides of the Waiarohia river and across Okara Drive bridge. 

The new shared will be complemented by stormwater upgrades and spaces to relax in that also reflect the rich cultural history of the area.

4. The Waiarohia Recreation Corridor

The Waiarohia Recreation Corridor project focuses on improving ecological and recreational amenity around the Waiarohia Stream flowing through Cafler Park and the sections directly upstream and downstream.

5. The Raumanga Recreation Corridor

The Raumanga Recreation Corridor project seeks to deliver significant Blue - Green outcomes along the Raumanga Shared Path Stage 3 project, notably along the stream between Bernard Street footbridge and Otaika Road.

Raumanga Shared Path Extension

Completed Blue Green programme projects:

Tikipunga - Te Kamo path extension

The Upper Hātea Link project has been extended almost half a kilometre further in time for brisk walks along the stream-side.

The $66,000 Blue - Green Network Programme project was completed by Plantpro Ltd.  It included clearing weeds near Gillingham Road, replacing an old fence with 53 bollards, and installing a 404m long, 2.5m wide shared track from Gillingham Road through the Bush Haven Reserve.

Before and after pictures of the extended shared path.

The path passes a right of way off Daviot Place which was upgraded with new concrete path and steps, and connects to the existing track along the Waitaua Stream.

In coming years, the shared path will stretch a full seven kilometres from the Gillingham Road entrance in Te Kamo to Otuihau, Whangārei Falls, in Tikipunga.

Waitaua Awa Community Planting

Over 200 students and whānau took part in a series of community planting days along the Waitaua Stream in Tikipunga in June 2021 as part of the Blue - Green Network Programme.

Run by Whitebait Connection and Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust and supported by us, the planting days saw over 1,500 riparian native plants get planted along the Waitaua Stream where it flows adjacent to the Totara Parklands Estate subdivision.

A group of people at a community planting day with trees behind them.

Image:  A group of people at a Community Planting day

The plants will improve water quality in the Upper Hātea catchment, and boost amenity along a future walking and cycling trail that will eventually connect Gillingham Road to Whangārei Falls.

Riparian vegetation is a key element of the Blue - Green Programme, which aims to integrate cycling and walking infrastructure with ecological restoration, improved storm-water management, and flood protection.

The planting events coincided with Whangārei Matariki Festival 2021.

Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge

A project to construct a bridge over Waitaua Stream as part of the Tikipunga Shared Path was recently completed in partnership with BridgitNZ.

The new 12-metre long and over 2.5-metre-wide bridge with steel beams and timber cladding replaced a narrow timber board walk with a single rail that was previously in place. 

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge before the improvement project.

Image:  Before the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge improvement project.

The new bridge provides a safe link for walkers and cyclists to cross the Waitaua Stream, along the Tikipunga Trail - a shared path and cycleway that provides a safe, healthy way for the Tikipunga community to get from Vinegar Hill Road to Whangārei Falls without using roads.

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge after the improvement project.

Image:  After the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge improvement project.

The programme aims to deliver the outcomes outlined in the Blue / Green Network Strategy adopted in 2016. This is a wide-reaching strategy that will take decades to implement.

Blue / Green Network Strategy

Blue - Green Network Programme July - December 2021(PDF, 25MB)

Programme goals


Goals of the Blue Green Network Programme.