Variety of life found in estuary
Porangahau Estuary is located at the mouth of the Porangahau River in southern Hawke’s Bay.
It is a long, narrow estuary formed behind a low, longshore bar.
It has a variety of estuarine habitats including saltmarsh, intertidal sand and mudflats, and shallow tidal channels.
At around 750ha it is the largest estuary on the North Island’s east coast south of O¯ hiwa Harbour, dominating about 14km of coastline. The estuary is a wildlife area of national significance, providing roosting, feeding and breeding areas for common and rare coastal bird species including migratory waders. The estuary is also an important spawning and nursery habitat and feeding ground for native fish and is an area of great significance to Nga¯ ti Kere. Twenty customary fishing sites exist between Porangahau township and the sea and the estuary continues to be an important source of flatfish, kahawai, eels and whitebait.