There are only around 3 percent of wetlands remaining in the Wellington Region.

In working to protect and restore our wetlands, there are a range of national and regional policies, regulations and rules that provide direction and restrictions on what can and can’t be done within and around a wetland.

With so few of these unique habitats remaining, we support the restoration and protection of natural wetlands. However:

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  • There are no current or proposed rules or regulations requiring you to restore your wetlands.
  • You may need a consent for your restoration activity, except for restoration planting and pest control of appropriate species.
  • Restoration activity that involves changes to wetland hydrology, especially “re-wetting”, needs to be managed carefully. In some cases, it may pose a risk of flooding to neighbouring properties, or ecological harm.

If you have a wetland on your property, or think you might have, we want to work with you. Having a wetland can affect what you can do on your property, and we are here to help you to understand what this means.

We also have resources and funding available to help you with identification and restoration.

Natural wetland management in our region

There are several national and regional level regulatory documents that govern the activities that can and can’t be done within and around a natural wetland in our Region.

National Regulations

The regulations that govern wetland management in New Zealand are set out in the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020, and the Stock Exclusion Regulations 2020.

These are part of the Essential Freshwater Package, which came into force on 3 September 2020. 

Greater Wellington is responsible for implementation, monitoring and compliance of resource management in the Wellington Region. For more information about the national regulations in New Zealand, head to our Essential Freshwater Page.

Regional Rules

In the Wellington Region, we have the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP) which includes rules specific to wetlands in the Wellington Region. We are in the process of updating the PNRP to align with the current national regulations.


We established committees of locals, iwi, local authority and Greater Wellington representatives. Each committee develops a Whaitua implementation Programme (WIP) with their communities.

WIPs aim to improve the water quality in our region in a way that incorporates mana whenua and community values and interests in freshwater.  The WIPs will be incorporated  into our PNRP. Find out more about Whaitua.

Updated July 26, 2022 at 4:50 PM

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