There are five permanent streams that enter Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour: Purau, Te Wharau, Waiake, Te Rapu/Teddington, and Living Springs (Allandale). There are other numerous small streams that flow during the wetter months. Pūkeko share the area with many species including tuna/eels, banded kokopu, caddisfly, stonefly, mayfly, pūhā/watercress, and kōura/freshwater crayfish.
Headwater springs and upper stream reaches in the Whakaraupō catchment are largely healthy – but start to deteriorate as they get closer to the harbour. Monitoring shows high levels of sedimentation with elevated phosphorous nitrogen and E.coli bacteria. This makes for poor habitat for aquatic animals – and elevated bacteria poses a risk to human health.
The Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour plan focuses on waterway pollution, bank erosion and stock access. These actions build on the riparian fencing and planting by engaged community groups and landowners.