Since 2007 a series of "muck in" days have been held on the banks of the Waitaua (Upper Hatea) Stream.

Whitebait connection co-ordinator Nicki Wakefield said the days comprised planting natives to assist the awa to be as healthy. "Native plants provide a corridor for birds and insects, a buffer to filter runoff from the land, and shade the waters - keeping it cool for the native fish and insects that depend on a cool, clear flowing river to thrive. A healthy riparian belt will contribute to a healthy Whangarei Harbour by reducing sedimentation and other pollution from land runoff."