The Taihua/foreshore is an important part of Whakaraupō. Native species, people, and industrial interests such as the Lyttelton Port Company all co-exist. Pipi, kuaka/godwit, tuaki/cockle and kūtai/mussels are some of the keystone species in the area.
Pollution, particularly from sediment higher up in the catchment, has made it tough for shellfish and other species to thrive. Sediment build-up and pollution from wastewater and runoff also poses a threat to recreational users of the beaches within the harbour.
The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan focuses on water pollution and sedimentation, alongside managing contaminants. Protecting marine species and their habitats is also vital.