Work is underway to restore Hamilton’s gullies, which cover 8% (7.5km2) of our city.

Once rich with native flora and fauna, over time our gullies were cleared and often used to dump weeds and waste.

Today, the gullies are seen as important natural areas in a largely urban environment, providing:

  • habitat for native species such as long-tailed bats, tuuii, bellbirds, kereruu, and kookopu and other aquatic life
  • natural corridors for wildlife
  • green space for recreation
  • vital parts of the city’s walkways and cycleways.

Hamilton has four major gully systems – Kirikiriroa, Mangakootukutuku, Mangaonua and Waitawhiriwhiri – and many minor systems.

Restoring Gullies

On private land

Around 4km2 of gullies (more than 50%) are privately owned, and private owners can play an important role in gully restoration.

We work with gully owners to undertake restoration projects, linking them with support and resources. Contact to speak to us about how we can help.

On public land

We also work with community groups and others to restore gullies on public land. Click on the links below to find out more, including how to get involved.

Sometimes we can provide plants to private landowners wanting to restore gullies on public land next to their properties.

Natural areas

Only 2% native vegetation cover remains in Hamilton, but there are still natural areas throughout the city, including:

  • pockets of original native vegetation in parks and reserves, such as the kahikatea in Jubilee Bush
  • major restoration sites such as Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park
  • gullies such as Mangakootukutuku
  • significant natural areas on private and public land, such as Lake Rotoroa or parts of the banks of the Waikato River, which must be identified and protected by law

Our natural areas can provide many types of benefits:

  • individual - improve our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing
  • social - connecting communities
  • economic - encourage tourism and provide ecosystem services such as pollination for agriculture
  • environmental - regulate heat, rainfall, wind and air quality
  • cultural - important for Maaori cultural practices, and part of our unique identity.

Council's responsibilities

The community wants a healthy, thriving environment, and this will help us to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. We are also legally required to protect and enhance nature and provide for people’s wellbeing, under the:

Our goal

The Nature in the City Strategy 2020 - 2050 sets the goal of increasing native vegetation cover in Hamilton from 2% to 10% by 2050.

We are also working to ‘join up’ natural areas in Hamilton – for example by supporting community groups to restore gullies.

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Last updated 24 July 2022