People planting at Ō Tū Wharekai wetland

Image: George Iles | DOC

Introduction

Read the objectives of the Arawai Kākāriki wetland restoration programme.

Increase wetland extent and wetland protection

Wetland habitats have declined across New Zealand. Our focus is on protecting existing wetlands through statutory measures and advocacy.

National leadership

Provide leadership for freshwater conservation across New Zealand

As one of DOC's flagship conservation programmes delivering on the Freshwater Stretch Goal, we aim to address key freshwater conservation issues across New Zealand. We will provide leadership in wetland restoration by enhancing and protecting internationally significant wetlands. Actions include building partnerships with iwi, councils, national and international conservation groups.

Ecological restoration

Maintain or enhance water regime and water quality.

We will take practical steps to work with councils, landowners and other stakeholders to maintain and improve water quality and to ensure appropriate water regimes are managed. Actions include monitoring and scientific assessment of catchment issues, advocacy to set appropriate water quality targets, improving water management through riparian planting, construction of sediment traps and restoring water levels.

Protect or restore ecosystem condition.

We will manage threats to ecosystems from invasive species, fire, habitat disturbance, stock access and land use changes. We aim to restore ecosystem values of degraded habitat. Intact habitats will be protected as a priority. Actions include fencing, weed control, stream habitat improvement, restoration planting and ecosystem health monitoring.

Enhance species diversity and protect threatened species.

We aim to safeguard threatened species. Actions include predator control, targeted habitat improvement, translocations of animal and plant species and monitoring population recovery.

Mātauranga Māori

Work with iwi, hapū, and whānau to recognise and support Mātauranga Māori.

Wetlands, lakes and rivers are places of significance to tangata whenua. Their knowledge, understanding and aspirations for the sites are invaluable in achieving our restoration goals. We will promote and support Mātauranga Māori for the management of the Arawai Kākāriki sites. Actions may include cultural health assessments, remediating historical sites, and maintaining or enhancing mahinga kai.

Working with others

Promote partnerships and participation

We aim to work in partnership with iwi and hapū, and communities and businesses to design and undertake management actions at the sites. Without the support of the local community it is often difficult to achieve goals for biodiversity conservation and restoration.

Increase awareness and appreciation

We want people to experience and appreciate these special places, so we will develop educational materials for our sites and maintain and improve visitor assets. Increasing public awareness of the values and services provided by wetlands is a key aim of the Arawai Kākāriki programme.

Science and knowledge sharing

Share scientific and technical knowledge

Arawai Kākāriki aims to support wetland management across New Zealand. We plan to share our results and what we have learnt with others using online platforms, publications, presentations and practical workshops.  

Undertake research to improve wetland management

We will maintain a coordinated research programme to target knowledge gaps that are a barrier to freshwater management and restoration. Through investment in priority research projects and partnership with universities and crown research institutions we aim to publish scientific findings that will directly assist restoration of our sites and support wetland conservation elsewhere.

Develop best practice restoration tools

Our Arawai Kākāriki sites are a test bed for developing new monitoring methods and management techniques for wetland restoration in New Zealand. We will develop a range of monitoring tools to improve the consistency of data collection in wetland conservation projects. Standardised methods for monitoring and managing wetland biodiversity are an important part of this.

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