Wetland Restoration Symposia

Every two years, the National Wetland Trust organises a gathering of community groups, landowners, iwi, scientists, wetland managers and students who are interested in sharing and learning about wetland restoration. Usually spread over three days, the symposia include field trips, practical training opportunities, soapbox sessions and presentations from a wide range of enthusiasts and professionals.

The next symposium will be held in Napier from 26-28 September 2018. The theme is Living Wetlands in the Living Landscape. Please see our Sponsor and Exhibitor pack if you wish to partner up with us for this exciting event.


Wetland Restoration Symposium 2016:  Nelson

Our 2016 symposium was held in Nelson, 10-12 February 2016. Almost 150 delegates from across New Zealand attended, representing agencies, councils, iwi, landowners, community groups, eco-tourism businesses, consultants, researchers, educators and enthusiasts.

The Symposium theme, Wetlands for Life, highlighted the vital role of wetlands in providing life-supporting ecosystem services, and opportunities to engage our young people in a life-time relationship with one of our most valuable, yet depleted ecosystem types.

The event was kicked off with an engaging and provocative presentation by Ruud Kleinpaste, and a surprise entrance of 30 young school children, who had been secretely invited to attend his talk. The children, from Nelson Central School listened intently for the 40 minute talk, and stayed on for another half hour asking Ruud many interesting questions. For the school this was a great start on their journey to become an EnviroSchool.

Session and workshop themes included 

  • Indigenous biodiversity of wetlands

  • Engaging youth in wetland conservation and management

  • Environmental education and engagement

  • Citizen science projects and applications

  • Communities restoring wetlands

  • Advances in wetland science

 Some of the presentations are available for download below.

Thanks to our sponsors for helping keep our event accessible to all.


Barrier_Para Wetland Restoration (4 mb)


Burkepile_Lessons running wetland restoration workshops (3.4 mb)


Campbell_Drought carbon balance peatlands (1.5 mb)


Cave_Pekapeka Champion Wetland (5 mb)


Cheyne_Creating bittern habitat (1 mb)


Funnell_Restoring Waituna Creek habitat (2 mb)


Gerbeaux_Typology for coastal wetlands (4 Mb)


Gillies_Mammalian predators in Whangamarino (4 mb)


Griffiths_Large scale grey willow control (5 mb)


Holland_Dairy farming and healthy ecosystems (3 mb)


Holmes_Waituna wetland (1.6 mb)


Iddon_Waikawau Bay Community project (2 mb)


Kleinpaste _Connecting Kids with Nature (4 mb)


Lindsay_Seeking Ramsar Status for Mangarakau (5 mb)


McCarroll_Waituna and Dairy farming ( mb)


Parsons_Wetlands and subdivision (1.4 mb)


Paviour_Living Water Projects in Waikato (3.4 mb)


Peeters_Self Guided Wetland Discovery Trail (3 mb)


Peters_Measuring Success through Citizen Science (4.6 Mb)


Purcell_Plant traits for restoration (2.7 mb)


Ramsay_New River Estuary Sediment Deposition (1.7 mb)


Rance_Awarua flora (4.5 mb)


Ratcliffe_Carbon dynamics in Scottish peatlands (1.2 mb)


Robertson_Ramsar nominations guidelines (6 mb)


Robertson_Science for wetland conservation (1.5 Mb)


Sharp_Volunteers keeping Then Safe - And Coming Back (6 Mb)


Shirtliff_Extraordinary Education (3.5 Mb)


Shortley - Bitter willow_A Basket Case (3.5 Mb)


Simpson_Abel Tasman NP wetlands (5 Mb)


Spiers_Wetland managers perceptions (3.5 Mb)


Sumich_Restoring Te Henga Wetland (3.6 Mb)


Taura_Working collaboratively with Maori communities (1 Mb)


Vanderberg_Scaling up local restoration


Wech_willow control and beetles (3.4 Mb)


WORKSHOP_Restoring Wetlands MBIE Research Programme Wrapup (3.5 Mb)


WORKSHOP Reeve and Turner_Project Janzsoon Abel Tasman Restoration and Education (1.5 Mb)



2014 Symposium

The 6th National Wetland Restoration Symposium was held in Auckland, at the Mt Albert Unitec campus, Feb 2014.

The organising committee included representatives from the National Wetland Trust, Auckland Council, Unitec, NZ Landcare Trust, Forest and Bird, and Wildland Consultants.

Over 180 delegates attended, enjoying a range of topics, including the links between wetlands and climate, coping with weather extremes when restoring wetlands, and a special focus on urban wetlands and the role of constructed wetlands (stormwater and treatment) wetlands.

Keynote speakers included New Zealander of the Year 2013, Dame Anne Salmond and Dr Dave Campbell (Waikato University).

You can read abstracts for all of the presentations in the Programme Handbook (4.5mb file)


Several presentations on wetlands presented at earlier conferences for the Arawai Kakariki project are available to view below:


Blair Thornburrow: Hydrology of Whangamarino wetland


Kerry Bodmin: Willow management in Whangamarino wetland


Emily Atkinson: Ruppia in Waituna Lagoon


Bev Clarkson: Wetland types


Brian Sorrell: Nutrient standards


Hugh Robertson: Wetland protection


Alastair Suren: Effect of wetland condition on invertebrates