A study of the country's second-largest harbour will examine how its ecological health will change over time.
Auckland Council company Watercare has commissioned the three-year study to model the water flow and nutrients in Manukau Harbour.
It is the largest and most complex study of the harbour to be done, and follows a smaller model created a few years ago.
Watercare environment and consent manager Mark Bourne said it will answer important questions about how the harbour will be affected by urban development and increased local population.
"What if something changes like sea level rise, what if rainfall patterns change and you have higher stormwater flows from the land, what if the community around the harbour changes and we have greater urban development.
"It will help answer some questions out into the future as well."