inanga Stoke Streams Rescue - Nelson City Council

Stoke Streams Rescue

Stoke Streams Rescue
After two years, the Stoke Streams Rescue project has come to a close.

Stoke Streams Rescue

After two years, the Stoke Streams Rescue project has come to a close.

The project was funded by the Ministry for the Environment, with the main objectives to improve water quality in the Stoke Streams and to trial a community engagement project.  Details of the actions that were taken throughout the two year project including successes, failures, learnings, and recommendations can be found in the final report by clicking here (4.3MB PDF).


What is Stoke Streams Rescue?

In July 2011, Nelson City Council was awarded funding from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) to undertake a programme to work with the Stoke community to improve water quality in the four main streams in the Stoke area.

The programme was developed in partnership with MfE, Nelson City Council and the Waimaori Streamcare programme, and a couple of months later the Cawthron Trust also came on board as a partner.

Why did this come about?

Like a number of Nelson (and New Zealand) urban streams, the water quality of the Stoke streams is very degraded. In fact, in 2010 all four Stoke streams that are regularly monitored, returned an ‘E’ grading for water quality. This is the lowest grading that a stream can achieve and is certainly a cause for concern.

To assess water quality, a number of chemical and physical factors are tested including nutrients, ph, temperature, bacteria and invertebrate numbers and when all counts are taken into consideration the grading is given.

Find out more about the annual monitoring of our river and stream health.

What DID the project involve?

There were a number of actions and deliverables that the project partners agreed to.

This included 12 additional monitoring points along the four streams in order to get a better understanding of where contaminants might be coming from, also reports for each catchment to bring together widespread data and information, identify hotspots and recommend actions for improvement. Other deliverables included working with community groups to educate and encourage stream ownership, riparian planting, delivery of Waimaori workshops to schools and the wider community, and resident surveys.

At the end of the day though, it is up to individuals and communities to make the difference. If people are prepared to make a little effort to do things a little better, then we will see an improvement in the water quality of our streams.


Children from Stoke School planting alongside Orphanage Stream

Drains are for rain

While there are other land uses contributing towards the water quality problem in Stoke (these were also targeted as part of the project), the urban community are adding a cocktail of pollutants into our streams, and ultimately the marine environment – in most cases not even realising that this is happening.

Everything that makes its way into a stormwater drain (any outside drain), is going directly into the nearest stream or the sea. This includes litter, sediment, paint and other solvents, oil, grease, dog faeces – you name it and it is probably in there.

Not only does this have an impact on stream life, it can impact on human users and ultimately, the sea and our kaimoana (seafood).

What can you do?

There are lots of things you can do, but your challenge is to choose just one thing that you may be doing, and change your actions for the better.

This principle applies to all Nelson urban residents.  Although this project was based around Stoke, the issues are widespread throughout the Nelson area.

Download the brochure and see what simple actions you can take to reduce contaminants entering our waterways and by doing so help improve the water quality in our streams, rivers and marine environment.

Download the Stoke Stream Rescue brochure. (853KB PDF)

Habitat enhancement opportunities for inanga in Jenkins, Orphanage, Poorman Valley and Saxton Waterways

One of the Stoke Streams objectives was to improve whitebait habitat and a report from Tiakina and DoC was commissioned to identify the issues and offer solutions. This will guide us as to what actions can be taken to ensure our native fish have the best chances to survive in the future.

Download the Whitebait Habitat Report (3.9MB PDF)

For more information

Please contact Lynne Hall,
Land Management Adviser, Nelson City Council
Phone 546 0200 or email
To report spills or pollution incidents - phone 546 0200 (available 24 hours).