Learn about the wet areas on your land, why they are unique, the benefits of restoring them and some tips along the way. 

*Note: This resource is for restoring natural wetlands only. It is not focused on the creation of constructed wetlands.

Wetland habitat with large trees in background
Waterway with aquatic vegetation growing and trees on the banks

What is a wetland?

Learn more about the value of wetlands

  • This video by DairyNZ explains the benefits of managing wetlands from a farmer's perspective.

  • You can learn more about wetland ecosystems through The National Wetland Trust. The Trust is dedicated to sharing knowledge and spreading awareness about these incredible habitats.

Some resources to get you started

Regionally specific planting guides

The following guides will help you decide what and where to plant.

Wetland plant adaptations

Soils within wetlands are predominantly saturated and are typically anaerobic (lacking oxygen). Many of the plant species that reside in these wetland habitats have specialized adaptations for getting enough oxygen. Check out this video by Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research where plant ecologist Dr Bev Clarkson explains some of these unique adaptations!

Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands - Case Study

The team from Habitat Restorations Aotearoa working at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands have adopted a technique that helps pūrei/Carex secta seedlings become established without using herbicide. They found that a tri-annual herbicide application wasn’t effective at controlling the Glyceria weed that was smothering native plantings.

Person showing innovative use of flax weaving for native seedling pots

They trialled weaving kete/baskets from harakeke/flax, filling them with potting mix and then planting the pūrei seedlings inside. These were wedged in small gaps in the vegetation and provided the height and substrate required to grow above the Glyceria weed. The extra height also kept the small seedlings from being flooded out by fluctuating water levels.

Utilising harakeke as a cultural resource ensures traditions and reo is kept alive and skills are passed on."

Glen Riley from Habitat Restorations Aotearoa

Due to the nature of the woven kete, pūrei roots are able to make their way into the sediment below. 

Glyceria is shade intolerant. Once the pūrei have grown large enough, they shade-out the Glyceria naturally, reducing the need for ongoing maintenance. Unlike a plastic pot, the kete will eventually decompose as the pūrei establishes within the sediment.