Changing landscape of the Hauraki Plains

Did you know that the Kopuatai Peat Dome north of Te Aroha, an area of international botanical significance and the largest wetland in the North Island, once stretched as far as Matamata?

As well as draining and clearing the plains for pasture, early European settlers brought with them their amenity and heritage trees like oaks, planes, walnuts, poplars and maples. Many of these are now recognised in the district as specimens worthy of protection under the District Plan.

They contribute to stabilizing stream banks, improving water quality and taking up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. In summer, they also provide welcome relief from the sun for stock and humans alike. There is a growing drive to bring back indigenous biodiversity in the developed landscape using waterway margins, planting and linking up existing indigenous remnants. Our latest State of the Environment Report shows how much the landscape has changed since pre-European times.

Check it out at