Our History


In 2004, a group of local residents banded together to see if they could increase the number of native birds in the Uretara estuary by doing ‘a bit of pest control’ and improve the ecological health of area as a whole. Early results were promising and Uretara Estuary Managers (UEM) was born.


Forming a not-for-profit society, UEM Inc gained support from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE)’s Sustainable Management Fund in 2006, boosting efforts to restore native habitat and protect waterways in the catchments near Katikati township.


Winning the MfE’s prestigious Green Ribbon Award in 2007 provided regional recognition and helped build useful, long-term partnerships. Significant support from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western Bay District Council along with many, many more volunteer hours followed as environmental restoration on both private and public land continued.


A record-breaking 24 hours BioBlitz saw the identification of over 2,400 living organisms from across the Uretara catchment in 2015.


UEM became a founding member of Bay Conservation Alliance in 2017 and that same year a successful application to MfE’s Freshwater Improvement Fund gave rise to an expansion of the scope of work, with a focus on community-led catchment management.


Embracing the vision of a thriving northern Tauranga Harbour landscape, from hills to ocean, from Aongatete to Athenree, UEM Inc adopted Project Parore as the new name for the society in 2020.


Enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers can only feasibly achieve so much in terms of realising our goals. A grant from Bay Trust enabled the first paid staff member to come on board as Programme Manager in 2021.


Collaboration with Katikati Taiao resulted in the employment of a part-time Katikati Environmental Activator. When MfE’s Freshwater Improvement Fund created a Jobs for Nature initiative, we applied and were delighted to be chosen to create the game-changing ability to employ a small but full-time restoration crew in 2022.


Project Parore was awarded the inaugural NZ Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award for the Bay of Plenty region at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2022.