National Wetland Policy: New Zealand

  • Mark Everard
Reference work entry


In 1986, New Zealand became the first Contracting Party of the Ramsar Convention to publish a Wetland Management Policy. Interpretation and context have changed since publication of the New Zealand Wetland Management Policy, which the New Zealand Government is considering updating. The Policy recognizes that the wetlands of New Zealand have always been an important part of the nation’s environment, from the earliest days when Maori settlers harvested shellfish and fin fish, collected material for weaving and farmed the extensive flat swamplands. Drainage of wetlands for economically productive farming has been a continuing trend, leaving few of New Zealand’s native lowland wetlands intact and compromising their capacity to provide habitats for plants and other wildlife. The New Zealand Wetlands Management Policy recognizes the difficulty of reversing this trend towards drainage for short-term gain.


Maori Wetland loss Drainage WERI Tourism Recreation Conservation Hydrological role 


  1. Department for Conservation. Wetlands conservation. n.d. Accessed 4 Aug 2014.
  2. Ramsar Commission. National wetland policies – New Zealand. n.d. Accessed 4 Aug 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Water Security Network, University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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