Pakuranga Creek

Pakuranga Creek in east Auckland is mostly a tidal estuary bordered by mangroves. It flows in an east to west direction, draining into the Tāmaki Estuary and possibly covers the largest catchment area for the Estuary.

Its four main tributaries are freshwater streams, mostly heavily modified with concrete channeling. Nearer the estuary it is lined by mangroves.

Numerous large Koi carp have been spotted at the Cascades pool, where mangroves finish at the eastern end. These fish contribute to the waterway becoming degraded as they create sediment and displace native species.

The Pakuranga Creek Elm Park Monitor (simple data page / full page): This sensor is located in fresh water, in the Elm Park tributary, in the middle of the Pakuranga Creek catchment. At its location, the tributary flows in a southerly direction to drain into the main Pakuranga Creek.

The Elm Park tributary is the smallest and most westerly of the four main freshwater streams feeding the Pakuranga Creek. Although always fresh water, it’s water level is influenced by tidal flows which also seem to change the EC readings. Eels, shrimp and Gambusia have been observed at the site of the sensor.

This monitoring site often has high EC readings, which suggest short lived but significant pollution events. The causes of these pollution events have yet to be determined. One possible cause is sewage, as a faint odour has been detected.

Fresh water environments are sensitive to damaging events that can occur over just a few minutes, and often go by unnoticed. The sensor creates a detailed record of key factors that indicate the health of the stream letting you know when it is time to take a closer look.

The sensor is occasionally disabled or lost, due to events such as heavy rain storms or vandalism.

Reflections on the Pakuranga Creek

“Born out of the lockdowns, local writer Marilyn J. Bakker created a scrapbook and a series of large scale ecology inspired posters. Using recycled materials and collected rubbish, photos and sketches, the exhibition talks to her passion for the Pakuranga Creek and its environs.”
This video takes you beyond the exhibition to visit and talk about the creek itself, its history and current issues.