How can I protect wetlands?

Wetlands are special places with important environmental, cultural, social and economic values. Landowners and the community play a vital part in efforts to protect and enhance Canterbury’s remaining wetlands.

Reach out for support

We can help landowners identify, protect and restore wetlands so that the species within them thrive. We can provide advice, and support on-the-ground actions that will make a real difference to wetlands in our region. We have experts for land management, cultural, and biodiversity advice at no cost to you.

Because this work is so important, we have funding to assist with biodiversity projects like weed control and protection works. We also provide support to community organisations for projects and initiatives that align with our biodiversity and biosecurity priorities.

To get in touch, please contact us on 0800 324 636 or

Other resources available

Te Ahuriri

Regulatory guidance

If you have a wetland on your property, you have responsibilities to protect it under the new Essential Freshwater Package regulations.

See our practical information for landowners on how the rules apply to wetlands.

Washpen wetland

Industry guidance

Trusts, community organisations and volunteer groups

  • The National Wetland Trust of New Zealand is a non-profit organisation with an aim to increase the knowledge and appreciation of wetlands, including through volunteer opportunities.
  • The QEⅡ National Trust helps landowners protect significant natural features like wetlands through covenants.
  • Forest & Bird is an environmental organisation focused on protecting indigenous New Zealand wildlife and wild places, including wetlands. Regional branches are in AshburtonNorth Canterbury and South Canterbury.
  • The Travis Wetland Trust and Christchurch City Council regularly organise planting days and working bees at Ōruapaeroa/Travis Wetland, which is the last large freshwater wetland in Christchurch.
  • The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust and Christchurch City Council hold working bees every Sunday to help maintain Charlesworth Reserve. Charlesworth Reserve's habitat is a restoration of tidal wetland and surrounding coastal shrub land and forest.
  • Waihora Ellesmere Trust is dedicated to the improvement of the health and biodiversity of Te Waihora /Lake Ellesmere and its catchment. Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is New Zealand's fifth largest lake, its largest coastal lagoon, and an internationally recognised wetland.
  • NZ Landcare Trust focuses on effective catchment management to improve the land and water quality in New Zealand. Their Managing Wetlands as Farm Assets project aims to provide advice and share knowledge about the range of benefits wetlands offer the farming system and wider community. Fourteen wetland demonstration sites are being set up in Canterbury.
  • The Hurunui District Landcare Trust is a farmer-led initiative to manage and protect natural and physical resources on North Canterbury farms.
  • Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust has numerous projects underway or in the planning stages involving environmental rehabilitation, including Tūtaepatu Lagoon and The Pines Beach wetland.