About Us

The National Wetland Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 1999 to increase the appreciation of wetlands and their values by all New Zealanders. Our first major task is to build a wetland interpretation centre for people to learn more about wetlands and experience their special qualities. For more see National Wetland Centre.

Other Trust aims are to:

  • Increase public knowledge and appreciation of wetland values 
  • Increase understanding of wetland functions and processes 
  • Ensure landowners and government agencies commit to wetland protection, enhancement and restoration

The trust has twelve elected and three co-opted trustees representing, landowners, tourism and farming industries, local government authorities, NGOs, Crown Research Institutes, and universities. The Trust patron is internationally renowned biologist and TV celebrity Ruud Kleinpaste. An Executive Officer manages the Trust.

See more about our Trustees


Our Supporters


The Trust has a strong and growing volunteer support base. All of the Trustees donate their time, and many others are actively helping restore Rotopiko, design the National Wetland Centre, contribute articles, and organise events including World Wetlands Day and Wetland Restoration Symposia.

We welcome support from all comers - see our contact us page if you want to become invovled. 


The National Wetland Trust also thanks the following (in alphabetical order) for their continuing support;

Department of Conservation
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
Madsen Lawrie Consultants Ltd
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
NZ Landcare Trust


Tumbleweed Tees
Vivid Computers - our website developers and hosts
Waipa District Council
Waikato Regional Council

Yealands Estate Wine


The Waikato Regional Council has supported the NWT and our projects from day one, and in 2011 given us a real boost with a grant of $40,000 per year over three years to progress our National Wetland Centre project. We are delighted to have this support from the Council.

The Trust has recieved enormous support for restoration at Lake Serpentine (site of the proposed National Wetland Centre) from Waikato River Authority, the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust, NZ Lottery Heritage and Environment Fund, Trust Waikato, Waikato Regional Council, WEL Energy,Living Water (DOC/Fonterra) and WWF. Many other organisations have also helped out with funds or support in kind.

The National Wetland Trust has received grants to progress our objectives from;

Auckland Regional Council
Banrock Station
Department of Conservation
DOC/Fonterra Living Water Project
Environment Bay of Plenty
Waikato Regional Council
Fonterra Grass Roots Fund
Graham Kirtney Hurst Charitable Trust
Greater Wellington (Regional Council)
Len Reynolds

Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund 
Mazda Foundation
Norah Howell Fund
Northland Regional Council
Tasman District Council
Trust Waikato
Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust
Waikato District Council
Waikato River Clean-Up Trust
WEL Energy Trust
WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature Habitat Protection Fund