Kaipara Moana Remediation

What makes Aotearoa's largest landscape remediation project so important?

Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme is the largest landscape programme ever seen in New Zealand, and we were privileged to partner with Kaipara Uri, Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council, to bring this programme to life.

The Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) Programme is the result of decades of mahi from hāpu, iwi and community on both sides of Kaipara Harbour, the second-largest harbour in the world. This sacred body of water has nurtured its communities for hundreds of years, and now, due to increased levels of sediment from eroded hills, critical and urgent action is required to restore the health and mauri of the Kaipara Moana.

We have had the privilege of working alongside the KMR Joint Committee – a unique co-governance group including six representatives from Kaipara Uri and three representatives, each from Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council.

Our mahi to date

  • Communications & Engagement Strategy
  • Logo & Identity Development
  • Brand Story & Messaging
  • Website Design & Development
  • Workshops & Facilitation
  • Collateral Design & Production

Understanding the wider social, cultural, environmental and political environment around the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme was critical in developing an identity that captured the past, the present and the future.

In October 2020, a historic occasion took place with the signing of the Kaipara Moana Remediation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Waihaua Marae. It was the joining of Mana Whenua with local government, the Crown and the community in a partnership to restore the mauri of the Moana.

Our first role with the committee was to develop a Communications Plan for this new entity, acknowledging the complexities of this unique co-governance model and the challenge of bringing together communities across two territorial authorities, involving over 6000km2 of catchment land area, 950km2 of harbour surface area, and 8110km of waterways flowing into the moana.

This Communications Plan created a framework for the committee to begin engaging with communities and growing understanding of the project and was followed by the development of the Programme’s identity and key tools to be able to start sharing the story of KMR.

In partnership with Mana Whenua and local Māori designers, the Level team then workshopped the project identity with the Joint Committee, exploring stories from the Kaipara, patterns and designs specific to the Kaipara Uri, and a colour palette taken directly from the unique flora and fauna of the district. The end result is a brand identity that carries strong significance for people, for place and for the vision to restore Kaipara Moana.

Bringing the brand to life involved careful planning and execution, and is now helping to support ongoing engagement across the Kaipara catchment as the project team begin to tell the story of KMR.

Once the visual identity and brand for KMR were agreed upon, we helped bring the programme to life in the community through the development of a mini website to manage enquiries, branded documentation for reporting, office branding, funding grant templates, presentation templates, business cards, pull up banners, branded apparel and car signage. We are also working on a series of videos, including this introduction to the programme.

A full website is currently under development to help capture the wider story of this ever-evolving and growing programme. It has been really exciting working alongside the Joint Committee and interim project team as the Kaipara Maurikura (the operational arm of the project) was appointed, and we continue to work closely with the communications team.


A key element in the KMR brand identity is the four pou – Tiki Wananga – which were approved for use in the design by Mana Whenua. The role of the Tiki Wananga in history has been profoundly spiritual, linked to invoking protection and assistance from the mystical realms. They encompass any objective that has a purity of intention. We have positioned these ancient elemental Pou – Whiro, Tane Mahuta, Tāwhirimatea and Tangaroa – strategically to embed Mauri as a primal part of the visual identity of the programme. The rationale is that they demand our attention and draw our focus to the pivotal role of remediation, the securing of an ongoing and lasting resolution to regenerate, heal and restore Mana ki te Moana, ki te Whenua me nga Tangata katoa.

Patterns were also drawn from unaunahi (fish scales), Niho Taniwha (a mythical local taniwha) and the pūhoro, reflecting swiftness, speed and agility. These design elements can be seen in KMR’s first annual report, which provides a snapshot of the size and scale of this programme, and also reflects the unique pace at which this project needs to take place in order to save the harbour.


"Level facilitated the development of a Communications Plan and then provided a highly creative, well-considered and universally accepted brand for the programme. It was established via a culturally sensitive process and has been embraced by the well informed and culturally respected representatives of the Māori community as well as all others involved in the programme. In addition, Level provided communications advice and expertise, at times facilitating the Joint Committee of Council and Uri representatives, and staff, and were thoroughly professional and pleasant to work with."

Alan Wilcox, Interim Pou Tātaki, Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme