We’re restoring 70 hectares of pasture into wetland paradise for wildlife to thrive in and people to enjoy.
More fish, flax and flocks
We’ve started construction work that will convert 70 hectares of grazing land beside the lower Kaituna River, into the kind of wetland it would have been long ago. The project is due for completion by June 2023.
The Lower Kaituna Wildlife Management Reserve contains a small remnant of a once a vast wetland beside the lower Kaituna River. It’s the region’s largest remaining wetland but a comparatively small reminder of the original taonga (treasure) that once surrounded it and was prized for the tūna (eels), flax and kahikitea forests that lived there.
The surrounding land has been drained and used as grazing pasture since the 1970s. Those paddocks have now been retired by their Tapuika, Ngati Whakaue, and Department of Conservation landowners, and made available for restoration.
Why’s bog better than productive pasture?
Wetlands help to absorb flood water and keep streams and rivers clean by filtering run-off. They also provide habitat for many threatened native plants and animals. More local wetland means more wildlife, and better opportunities for people to enjoy nature walks, birdwatching, gamebird hunting, whitebaiting or cultural practices like flax harvest and eeling.
Through the 2009 Kaituna River and Maketū/Ongotoro Strategy, and the 2019 Kaituna Action Plan, tangata whenua and the local community have made it clear that they want wetlands in the area to be restored. Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority has recently set a target of 200 hectares of wetland restoration for Kaituna catchment by 2029.