Pukehina Beach is fortunate that it has a reserve area at the spit at the estuary entrance.
It is an excellent breeding site having ocean beach to the north and extensive feeding grounds behind.
Along with the Maketu spit, there are something like 18 or more pairsof NZ dotterel, making it possibly the most important single breeding area in the country. Occasional banded dotterel are also seen.
Observation of banded birds shows birds are faithful to the site, returning to it for many years.
In 2012, a semi-permanent fence was constructed, pests were trapped and public awareness raised. We aim to continue to protect this site, to allow breeding to continue without risk.
The dotterel numbers have doubled in the past year, along with increases in oyster- catchers who share the same site because of the lack of disturbance.
As resources allow, we may become involved with environmental aspects of the estuary and wetland accessed by the walkway.
Further information and informative booklets are available from Bev Nairn on 07 533 4247 or Julian Fitter on 07 533 2040.