People planting at Ō Tū Wharekai wetland
Image: George Iles | DOC


Arawai Kākāriki’s work is based on five main objectives

National leadership

Provide leadership for freshwater conservation across New Zealand

As one of DOC's flagship freshwater conservation programmes, we will provide leadership in wetland restoration and build partnerships with iwi, councils, national and international conservation groups to enhance and protect internationally significant wetlands.

Ecological restoration

Increase wetland extent and wetland protection

Wetland habitats have declined drastically across New Zealand, so we aim to protect remaining wetlands through statutory measures and advocacy.

Maintain or enhance water regime and water quality.

We aim to work constructively with councils, landowners and other stakeholders to improve water quality and water regimes through actions like monitoring and setting appropriate targets for catchment water quality, riparian planting, constructing sediment traps, and restoring water levels.

Protect or restore ecosystem condition.

We aim to restore ecosystem values of degraded habitats and protect intact habitats from threats like invasive species, fire, habitat disturbance, stock access, and land use changes.

Enhance indigenous species diversity and protect threatened species.

We aim to safeguard the many threatened species that live in wetland environments through 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, and 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 through actions such as 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, hapū, communities and businesses to design and undertake management actions at the sites to achieve our shared biodiversity conservation and restoration goals.

Increase awareness and appreciation

We want people to experience and appreciate these special places and the vital services and values that wetlands provide, so we are developing educational materials and aiming to improve visitors’ experiences at wetland sites.

Science and knowledge sharing

Undertake research to improve wetland management

Our coordinated research programme targets 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.

Share scientific and technical knowledge

Arawai Kākāriki will share our results and what we have learnt using online platforms, publications, presentations and practical workshops to support wetland restoration across New Zealand.

Develop best practice restoration tools

Our Arawai Kākāriki sites are a test bed for developing new management techniques, monitoring tools and standardised methods to improve the consistency of data collection for wetland conservation projects across New Zealand.

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