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Get involved

Do you live in the Auckland Region? Is there a stream you love or are concerned about?  Do you want to find out more about your stream? Join Wai Care! It’s easy (and it’s free – we just need YOU) Contact your local Wai Care Co-ordinator to find out more.

Why, what and how we monitor

Wai Care provides volunteer groups with resources such as water quality monitoring kits and access to a Wai Care co-ordinator.

Your coordinator provides ongoing support, training and advice and has access to other experts and organisations including staff at Auckland Council.

Why do we monitor?

Wai Care groups monitor their local streams because many of them feel a need to protect, enhance and reconnect with nature. We use the data to build a picture of stream health across the region.  Together we monitor the streams to spot any issues, impacts, changes or problems, either in the short term or over time.

What do we monitor?

We do two types of tests:

Physical/chemical – these tests measure physical aspects of the water like temperature or clarity, and chemical aspects of the water like pH or nutrient levels.

Biological – we also sample and record the range of macroinvertebrates (bugs) found in a stream.  Depending on the types of bugs found, we can get an idea of the health of the stream. Click here to read more about bugs.

How do we do it?

We use a range of easy to use monitoring equipment such as a clarity tube, pH strips, dissolved oxygen kit, thermometer and kits to test nitrate/nitrite levels and phosphate levels (key nutrients associated with pollution).

To get a sample of macroinvertebrates (bugs) we use a ‘kick net’ and some specific sampling techniques (including a knowledge of where the bugs tend to hide out) to collect a sample.  We then observe, identify and record the bugs.

Taking action

Wai Care encourages everyone to get involved in caring for the environment. We can all do something to be part of the solution to pollution. Take a few moments to learn about small steps we can all take to prevent freshwater pollution from occurring. Simple changes can make a huge difference to the health of our streams and the creatures that live there.

What you can do at home

  • Wash your car on the grass not on the road .
  • Never pour anything down a storm drain. They are for rain only.
  • Be A Tidy Kiwi! Place litter securely in a rubbish bin so it can’t be blown out by the wind.
  • Any household hazardous waste (paint, paint thinners, garden sprays) can be taken to various transfer stations around Auckland (
  • If you spill paint or oil, use an old rag to clean it up. Never hose spills down a storm water drain.
  • Fix oil leaks in your car. Switch to organic gardening instead of using fertiliser or chemicals.