Puketutu Island

Size: 31 hectares

Site description

Puketutu Island is a volcanic island in the upper reaches of the Manukau Harbour. It is approximately 4km north-west of the Auckland International Airport. 

The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. It is currently maintained by Watercare, private landowners and leasees.

Puketutu Island.
The Puketutu biodiversity focus area occupies the coastal margins of Puketutu Island.
Photo credit: Ian Maxwell

Geological features

The island is a significant geological feature and is identified as an Outstanding Natural Feature in the Auckland Unitary Plan. 

Early explosive eruptions formed a large crater, tuff ring, lava flows and intertidal lava reefs which extend to the sea on the western side of the island. A cluster of coalescing cones pile upon one another in the centre of the island but only reach 70m above sea level.

Ecological values

The Puketutu Island biodiversity focus area includes the lava reefs and estuarine (SA1) vegetation on the western side of the island. The lava reefs are valuable habitat for coastal bird species such as:

  • tōrea (South Island pied oystercatcher)
  • kōtuku ngutupapa (royal spoonbill)
  • tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel)
  • poaka (pied stilt)
  • ngutuparore (wrybill).

There is the potential to restore a strip of oioi-coastal needle grass on the saline margins of the lava flows (SA1.7). This is an ecosystem known from only two other sites on the mainland of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.