Why Wetlands

Wetlands are a forgotten habitat and many people under-rate their importance. Over 90 percent of New Zealand’s wetlands have been drained or filled. The Trust is working towards reversing this trend.

Wetlands are of cultural and spiritual significance to Maori. They provided Maori with food (particularly wildfowl, eels and other freshwater fish), taro cultivation, harakeke (flax) for weaving and other materials for medicinal, food, building, and craft use. 

Our wetlands support a greater diversity of native birds, fish, invertebrates and plants than most other habitats, yet many wetland species are threatened with extinction. Wetlands have very high recreational values, and perform vital ecosystem services such as improving water quality and reducing flood risks.  They are also essential in managing climate change. Healthy peat bogs are year-round sinks of 2-5 tonnes of carbon  per hectare – locking it up in their soil indefinitely.

Look through our website to find out more about wetlands and how you can visit or help restore them. Join the Trust to recieve a regular newsletter and to help us help wetlands.



Latest Updates


Rotopiko/Serpentine Reserve open

The site of the planned National Wetland Centre is open to visitors. All welcome (but check your bags for pests at the gates and no dogs, sorry). Please shut the roadside gates if you are the last to leave.









Click here for more information or to join the trust and receive newsletters.