The Matata Wildlife Refuge Reserve (Te Awa O Te Atua Lagoon) is at risk from debris, siltation, infilling and subsequent lowering of the lagoon’s water levels.


Approximately 300 mm of rain fell in the vicinity of Matata during the 24hrs from 1800 hrs on 17 May 2005 until 1800 hrs on 18 May 2005.

This deluge and associated conditions created a debris flood that had a huge effect on the Matata Wildlife Refuge Reserve. Debris, siltation, infilling and subsequent lowering of the lagoon’s water levels, especially the western lagoon and to a far lesser extent the eastern lagoon and compromised the ecosystem and its associated natural processes.

The DOC reporting group considered five options for the sustainable restoration and long term management of the Reserve. These ranged from managing what was there directly post-flood, to re-establishing a similar situation that which existed prior to May 2005 flood.

An inter-agency partnership, supported by the community, resulted in one restoration option being chosen. Although looking very different to the pre-flood lagoon landscape, the restoration programme for the western lagoon and surrounds within the Reserve has now been completed.

Publication information

KL Owen, I Smith, P Cashmore, S Crump, BR Christensen, C Staite

Published by
Department of Conservation
East Coast Bay of Plenty Conservancy
PO Box 1146

ISBN (print): 978-0-478-14863-3
ISBN (web): 978-0-478-14864-0


Rotorua Office
Phone:   07 349 7400
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010
Postal Address:   PO Box 1146
Rotorua 3040
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