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The future of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour

When the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan came into effect in November 2015, so too did a commitment to create a Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour Catchment Management Plan.

The purpose of the plan is to restore the ecological and cultural health of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour as mahinga kai while also addressing other environmental, cultural and social concerns, including the needs of recreational users and the needs of a working port.

Since August 2016, the Canterbury Regional Council, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Christchurch City Council and Lyttelton Port Company Limited have been working together with input from many others to bring this plan to fruition.

Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour presents a way forward for all of us as a community to ensure that the ecological and cultural health of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour is restored for us and our children after us.

The Plan will contain a suite of short to long-term objectives and an action plan that will lay the path to get us there.


A stocktake of existing traditional and scientific knowledge about the harbour and its catchment has been completed. The outputs of this include:

  • Legislation review
  • A searchable bibliography of science and traditional knowledge
  • An online, interactive story map that synthesises existing knowledge on the ecological and cultural state and history of the harbour and its catchment.
  • A list of active consents in the catchment (snapshot as of May 2016)

Science Advisory Group

In order to ensure the scientific integrity of the project, a Science Advisory Group has been formed and tasked with the following objectives:

  • Clarify the key issues impacting on the health of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour
  • Identify the main opportunities for intervention / priority actions
  • Identify key knowledge gaps, emerging issues, define research questions and assist with prioritising future research work.

Community Engagement

In order to ensure that all the relevant issues within the catchment are identified and considered throughout the development of the catchment management plan, it is important that the Partner organisations work together with the Harbour communities – the people who live around the harbour and the people who work and play there.

Although the catalyst for the Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour Catchment Management Plan partnership was the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan, the local community has been talking about the restoration of the harbour environment for some years. We recognise that there are many grassroots initiatives that are already happening at the community level and would like to acknowledge these in the Plan and provide support. Community engagement is achieved in the following ways:


  • Community representation on the Partner Working Group which meets fortnightly for the duration of the project. Check out the meeting minutes here.
  • A series of community workshops were held in September 2016 to discuss issues and options in the Harbour. Information obtained at these workshops is available in the community consultation report.
  • Meetings with community members and stakeholders were held in October 2017 to discuss a preliminary draft plan, and then a draft plan, incorporating feedback from the October meetings was available for public feedback in November 2017