Ocean Regeneration

This page outlines projects to regenerate land, sea and communities in Tai Tokerau.

Our vision is to create a cohesive network of sharing and support for the many inspirational climate mitigation and adaptation projects and regenerative ecological and economic initiatives throughout Te Tai Tokerau.

We believe that the natural world provides our best options for mitigating and adapting to climate change, and in working humbly with nature to repair the climate we will also generate cascades of co-benefits that will help regenerate the ecology, regenerate communities and support well-being. We do this for our tamariki (children) and our mokopuna (grandchildren).
Ecklonia radiata Kelp (image credit Glenn Edney)

Working with nature to repair the climate will also help us address the many problems facing us globally. In recognising the connectivity of systems, our projects are grounded in the relationship of reciprocity, encompassing and informing the way we work with land and sea to produce food while supporting ecosystem regeneration. Our food systems interface with our health systems, our financial systems and generally how we organise ourselves on this planet. For example, raising animals in ways that regenerate the soil, protects our oceans and, nutrition from the ocean can support farms to grow healthy, nutrient dense produce, close to home, that supports our health.

Our team is involved in projects that explore regeneration of farms, wetlands, sea and landscapes and how these are better informed by indigenous knowledge – in Aotearoa, this is mātauranga Māori. We anticipate developing projects that further these aspirations respecting the aspiration of connectivity expressed above.

1. Moana me te whenua (Sea and Land)

Exploring regeneration on land has pointed us to the potential of regenerating ocean ecosystems with the additional benefits of carbon sequestration, reversing ocean acidification, and replacing destructive industrial fishing and aquaculture with Ocean permaculture. Re-invigorating soil through regenerative agriculture, protects marine environments from the choking influx of sediment, while ocean permaculture provides a viable alternative to industrial fertilization Tai Tokerau (the Northland peninsula) has about 5,000 km of coastal and harbour shoreline and nowhere is further than 40 kms from the sea. Our first project is in the Tutukaka Harbour catchment area with small scale wetland and in Harbour kelp restoration linking to a one hectare offshore permaculture array en route to the iconic Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. This is in partnership with Dr Brian von Herzen, internationally renowned ocean permaculture expert who will be establishing a similar array in Australian coastal waters. A second project will be developed centred on the Kaipara Harbour, second only in size to San Francisco Harbour.

Array for growing kelp to regenerate the coastal waters

2. Regenerative food systems

Project Drawdown highlighted the vital role of food systems in mitigating climate change and building on that knowledge we have identified further benefits in designing landscapes and farms that play a direct role in cooling the locale (See Working with plants, soils and water to cool the climate by the UNEP for more details). The increasing momentum of regenerative agriculture is best expressed in drystock farming in New Zealand with the farmer’s organisation Beef + Lamb and meat processor Silver Fern supporting the transition. But we have a long way to go. Our project has three strands – supporting famer transition extension groups, supporting local meat processing and developing a regenerative food brand. For more about regeneration on the land see these pages or posts in the regenerative agriculture category.

3. Climate action promotion and education

Hope is based on a sense of agency and having pathways of action. And hope is desperately needed, especially for our young people. We are assembling a governance structure and organisation to support and link climate action projects and provide education resources. This includes working with tertiary institutions to implement climate action qualifications and establishing community education resources associated with key projects, such as the Tutukaka project.

Tamure (snapper) in the kelp forest (Image credit Glenn Edney)

4. Blue energy

Our envisioned permaculture array will require an energy source to pump nutrient-rich water from the deep ocean. This can increase kelp growth rates by up to 400%. Te Uriroroi kaumatua, Millan Ruka has developed a tidal flow generator that he is currently taking through the patent process. Supporting this initiative promotes home-grown green energy initiatives developed by a veteran environmental activist and will accelerate the adoption of this technology.


These projects create cascades of benefits, regenerating ecosystems and communities, proving healthy kai, and helping to cool the planet – just for starters.

The ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits of regeneration projects