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About Mahurangi Action Incorporated

Established in 1974 as Friends of the Mahurangi

In 2009, after years of failing to attract a willing treasurer, the group lost its status as an incorporated society. To address this deficiency, Mahurangi Action was incorporated on 7 December 2011, with Michael Gordon as the inaugural treasurer.

Styled ‘Mahurangi Action, established 1974 as Friends of the Mahurangi’ to signal the imperative for action, the new name is also aimed to both be more inclusive and to be better aligned with the Mahurangi Action Plan. The issue providing urgency to form Friends of the Mahurangi in 1974 was the plans by the then Warkworth Town Council for a wastewater treatment plant. Like the severely overloaded septic tank it was to replace, the system would discharge into the Mahurangi River, just below the town.

Jade River cover

Grateful: Friend of the Mahurangi Ronald Locker wrote his tribute to the ‘river’ as payback for the lifetime’s pleasure it gave him. The book’s cover features Henry Winkelmann’s photograph of the 1901 Mahurangi Regatta. publisher Friends of the Mahurangi

Many, and particularly founding member Wilfred AllanWilfred ‘Wilf’ John Davy Allan, considered the council’s plans inadequate to restore the water quality at Warkworth and protect, long-term, the oyster farms downstream. Meanwhile, founding chairman John Male had been discussing formation of a ‘watch dog group’ to protect harbour’s landscape and to back a moratorium on further marine farms, which he had sought while serving as a Rodney County councillor. Not wishing to be seen as just another protest group, Friends of the Mahurangi revived the Mahurangi Regatta, in 1977—it had lapsed during World War Two.

Today the organisation works closely with the harbour’s marine farmers to help resolve the issue of derelict oyster leases and towards improving the harbour’s water quality.

In 2001 Friends of the Mahurangi published Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi, which was written by member Ronald Locker as ‘a kind of payback for all the pleasure the river has given me.’

The organisation is energetically involved in the regional council –initiated Mahurangi Action Plan, the principal aim of which is to address the harbour’s elevated sediment accumulation rate.

Mahurangi Action milestones mark some significant achievements

Founded, as Friends of the Mahurangi
Tribunal recommends Warkworth wastewater be excluded from the Mahurangi River
Revived the Mahurangi Regatta
Supported Mahurangi West-led campaign that saw off plans to build a road to Te Muri and park up to 4000 cars behind its beach
Conducted poll on aspirations for Mahurangi in 25 years
Publication of Dr Ronald Locker’s 416-page Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi
Successful High Court defence of the public’s entitlement to access Jamieson Bay
Scotts Landing – Scott Homestead boardwalk
Mahurangi Regatta Ball, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Warkworth’s founding
Revival of the Mahurangi Regatta Prize-Giving Dance
Leading role in supporting Auckland Regional Council’s Mahurangi Action Plan
Mahurangi Magazine goes online
Establishment of first scientifically designed trials demonstrating that forestry-style nursery methods could slash the cost of raising indigenous plants
Leading role in developing Mahurangi Action Plan: A strategic plan for the catchment 2010–2030
With property holder, establishment of the Mahurangi Farm-Forestry Trail
Warkworth Sediment Improvements Pilot Phase I
Preservation of car-free Te Muri, forever
Culmination of 42-year bid to see council commitment to exclude Warkworth wastewater from the Mahurangi river and harbour
First Mahurangi Regatta held with new, long-term principal sponsor, Teak Construction
Submitted only proposal—for two local boards to replace the current Rodney Local Board—deemed a reasonably practicable option to Auckland’s governance arrangements
Inaugurated, with One Warkworth and supported by Mahurangi Matters, the Warkworth Town Hall Talks
Initiated, with philanthropist member, Mahurangi-based green-lipped mussel reef restoration research project
Initiated, with the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust, ‘Up the Mahu!’
Provided snug harbour for chart—Coastal Heritage Art—competition for schools


Become a member of Mahurangi Action Incorporated


Join or renew online.
Membership fees: $10 for individual; $20 for family; and, bless them, many also make a donation.


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