Council & City

Urban eels: Our sustainable city

Tuna (eels) once thrived in the Manawatū River, but over time their numbers have dwindled. In 2020 you’ll be able to visit a platform on the river and feed the eels and learn about why they are so important to Māori and the health of these waterways.

Photo shows man with traditional Maori tattoos on his arm releasing eels into a stream.

We’re helping create an eel feeding platform on the Manawatū River.

A rahui or protective fishing exclusion will mean this area becomes a safe haven for the tuna, meaning their population can once again thrive in the awa.  

This project will provide a hands-on experience that raises awareness of traditional cultural practices, and the significant mauri, or lifeforce, of this water.  

This project is a partnership with Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated and Gordon Consulting with support from Ngati Hineaute Hapu Authority, Te Rangimarie, Palmerston North City Council, Horizons Regional Council, Te Manawa Museum of Art Science and History, Massey University, Palmerston North City Environmental Trust and the Manawatū River Leaders Accord. 

Photo shows bulldozers digging out a section of riverbank.

Construction is underway.


Construction started in March 2020 and will take a couple of months.

For more information

Read the Urban Eels implementation plan on the Gordon Consulting website.

We’re a keen partner of this project, as it falls into our Manawatū River Framework, which aims to get more people visiting and enjoying the river each year.