A bright yellow buoy will be used to check the health and sustainability of the Mangawhai Harbour as part of a new water testing programme that is about to get under way in Mangawhai Harbour.

Kaipara District Council is working with community volunteers, Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust and Northland Regional Council on the project that has come about in a bid to better understand the health of the harbour, and the effect that inflows have on the water quality of the harbour.

The preliminary water testing programme is a first step towards understanding the harbour's health and involves testing at five selected sites for at least three months, and testing water following significant weather events.

Alongside this, Northland Regional Council will also be placing sondes (water monitoring buoys) for water quality monitoring in the harbour at the North and South causeways on Molesworth Drive and Insley St for about a month. These devices will monitor water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity.

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Kaipara commissioner John Robertson said the joint project was an excellent example of the community and councils working in partnership.

"The harbour is an extremely important part of the Mangawhai environment and as such, we all want to understand it better. Both the preliminary testing programme and the sondes will assist in identifying issues affecting harbour water quality."