Protecting, preserving and enhancing the natural environment.

Maketū Ōngātoro Wetland Society (MOWS) is a community conservation group which looks to conserve, protect and restore the native biodiversity of the lower Kaituna River, Maketū Estuary, Waihi Estuary and the surrounding area. Our work started in 2009 and is ongoing to the indefinite future. Read more about our history here.

Our conservation initiatives and ecological restoration efforts currently focus on the following areas: Maketū SpitNewdick’s BeachDotterel Point PukehinaWaihi Estuary and wetland, Papahikahawai Island, Pukehina Esplanade Reserve and the lower Kaituna river. However, our focus and operations are continually expanding.  Click here to read more about us. 

Our services include animal pest control, plant pest control, biodiversity monitoring and habitat restoration. MOWS also runs a very successful education programme in local schools throughout Te Puke, Maketū, Paengaroa, Pongakawa and Pukehina.

About Us

Maketū Ōngātoro Wetland Society (MOWS) was established in 2008 when a small group of local villagers got together to do something to protect the colony of New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) which live on the distal end of Maketū Spit. 


Environmental Programmes (EPs) are five year ecological restoration plans that are carried out by a Care Group and funded by BOPRC, WBOPDC and DOC, and at the end of five years they can be renewed. 

Education Program

The MOWS education programme, established in 2015, works with multiple local schools and is funded by WBOPDC, TECT and BayTrust.

How you can help

We run regular working bees and work days to complete important ecological restoration work around the Maketū estuary, lower Kaituna River and Waihī estuary.

Recognition of our work in the community

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