Fish & Game welcomes new farm wetlands guidance

A wetland area. Photo: DairyNZ.

Fish & Game is welcoming the new NIWA-DairyNZ resource to help farmers with wetland design and performance.

"New Zealanders are becoming far more aware of the important role wetlands play in 'taking care of water,' from recharging groundwater and augmenting flows, and filtering runoff pollution,"says  New Zealand Fish and Game Council Chair Ray Grubb.

"Wetlands are vital for wildlife because they provide valuable habitat for both native and valued introduced species. Healthy wetlands are also crucial in helping to minimise the impact of weather events like floods and droughts, which too many New Zealand communities are unfortunately all too familiar with.

"Fish & Game, and game bird hunters, are proud to have played a leading role in wetland protection and conservation - managing and creating numerous wetlands in many parts of the country. That is why Fish & Game has worked with DairyNZ in developing this guidance."

Fish & Game manage trout, salmon and game birds to provide healthy recreation for Kiwis, and work to protect the environment that anglers and hunters have enjoyed as a tradition for over 150 years.

The new guidelines highlight that as wetlands increase from one to five per cent of a catchment area:

  • sediment removal typically increases from 50 to 90 per cent
  • nitrogen removal increases from 25 to 52 per cent in warmer zones of New Zealand
  • nitrogen removal increases from 18 to 38 per cent in cooler zones of New Zealand
  • phosphorus removal increases from 25 to 48 per cent.
The guidance is supported by twelve regional councils, Fish & Game NZ and the Waikato River Authority. It can be downloaded at 

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