Manukapua Island and Okahukura Sequence

Size: 1381 hectares

Site description and ecosystems

The Manukapua Island and Okahukura Sequence biodiversity focus area is situated on the west coast of the Tapora Peninsula. It contains a diverse range of ecosystems including:

  • sand dunes (DN2 and DN5)
  • sand banks and bars
  • sand islands
  • saltmarsh and mangroves (SA1)
  • coastal shrubland on dunes (WF5)
  • freshwater wetlands (WL19).
Manukapua Island.
The matrix of saline, freshwater, dune and warm forest ecosystems. Pouto and Kaipara's North Head is in the distance.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018

The area is recognised as of national and international significance for birdlife. The Department of Conservation administers the following areas within this biodiversity focus area:

  • Okahukura Conservation Area
  • Manukapua Government Purpose Wildlife Management Reserve
  • Otekawa Creek West Marginal strip
  • other areas of reserve land.

A large raupō wetland within Birds Beach Recreation Reserve is administered by Auckland Council.

Manukapua Island.
Th dynamic dune system of Manukapua Island.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018
Manukapua Island.
Another view of the dynamic dune system.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018

Native fauna

The saline and freshwater vegetation sequences here provide important habitat for secretive coastal fringe and wetland bird species such as:

  • mioweka (banded rail)
  • mātātā (fernbird)
  • pūweto (spotless crake)
  • matuku hūrepo (Australasian bittern) - which has a threat status of Nationally Critical.

The intertidal area and sand banks are a feeding ground and important roosting area for thousands of international migratory birds who flock here over the summer months. 

The area is a key flocking site for tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel) and tara iti (New Zealand fairy tern). Tara iti are New Zealand's most endangered bird species with a threat ranking of Nationally Critical. 

Manukapua Island.
Low tide at Manukapua Island.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018


A significant scrub fire in 2013 damaged native and exotic vegetation in the Okahukura Conservation Area. A native revegetation programme is being planned for the area damaged by this fire.

The local community is actively involved in ecological restoration here. Taporapora Land and Coastal Community Care group has an extensive trapping network across the Tapora Peninsula. They are helping reduce pest numbers and restoring indigenous wildlife on the peninsula. 

Related ecosystems