Taking the bar

Mark “Frosty” Frost lines up the mouth of the Patea River and prepares to ‘take the bar’.

Produced by New Zealand Geographic

Like all west coast bars, it can be a hazardous crossing, with the outgoing flow creating standing waves that peak where they meet incoming Tasman swells.

And like many New Zealand rivers that run through intensively farmed land, the water is charged with the sediment, nutrients from fertilisers and effluent from stock. This payload increases turbidity in the water, reduces oxygen and supercharges the development of algal blooms in the shallow Taranaki Bight.

What happens on land flows into the river. In the rural context, this comprises sediment, and as well as fertilisers and effluent from farm run-off. Nutrients drive growth in weeds and toxic algal blooms, choking the river and changing its chemistry. Today, farmers and volunteer groups alike are rolling up their sleeves and taking action to reduce run-off and plant riparian margins to protect Taranaki’s rivers.

Episodes From This Location

Cod kingdom

1 minute / 2019

Science on the reef

1 minute / 2019

Taking the bar

1 minute / 2019

Tending the flock

1 minute / 2019

A bird in the hand

1 minute / 2019

Season opening

1 minute / 2019

Fishing for conservation

1 minute / 2019

Network tech

1 minute / 2019

Deadwood

1 minute / 2019

Whitewater life

1 minute / 2019

Behold the ‘goblin forest’

1 minute / 2019

Te Mounga

1 minute / 2019