Te tiaki i ō ara rerenga wai, ō repo, ō roto hoki
Looking after your waterways, wetlands and lakes
Having clean fresh water is important to our economy, culture and environment.
Before water flows out to the sea, it goes through a network of waterways including:
- the surrounding riparian vegetation that intercepts contaminants and sediment
- lakes that store sediment
- wetlands that cleanse water flowing from rural and urban land use.
This hydrological network provides fresh water to drink, storage of water during flooding, habitat for native freshwater and terrestrial wildlife and ensures our marine environment remains healthy.
Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland's freshwater environments also have significant recreational and cultural value.
Remember to always check for wāhi tapu (sacred place) and other cultural heritage sites. Our resources below will help you find out how to protect and enhance freshwater habitats for plants and animals.
Start with these resources
Our freshwater crisis
Our waterways are in a dire state. The Million Metres Stream Project outlines the state of our waterways in New Zealand and what restoration projects need your support.
The importance of wetlands
Wetlands form a vital link between land and water. Understand the important role wetlands play.
Caring for waterways
Freshwater pest species of New Zealand
Information on pest freshwater fish, invertebrates and plants in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Information about what central government is doing to prevent the spread of freshwater pests and diseases.
Caring for urban streams guide 5 - stream life
A guide by Auckland Council on how to improve biodiversity of urban streams.
Stormwater Management Devices in the Auckland Region (GD01)
These guidelines provide detailed design considerations aligned with the Auckland Council philosophy of stormwater management to achieve a resilient and sustainable outcome under the principles of water sensitive design (WSD).
Water Sensitive Design for Stormwater (GD04)
This Auckland Council document provides guidance for the application of water sensitive design (WSD) to land use planning and land development, with a specific focus on stormwater and freshwater management.
Erosion and Sediment Control Guide for Land Disturbing Activities in the Auckland Region
An Auckland Council guide providing technical guidance for the selection, design and use of erosion and sediment control (ESC) practices and measures for land-disturbing activities in an Auckland context.
Getting riparian planting right in Auckland
Dairy NZ's step-by-step guide to successful riparian planting in Auckland.
Stream protection for biodiversity
Learn about the benefits that streams have on farms, how to provide for fish passage and how to protect fish habitat.
Managing freshwater catchment
A reference guide to managing freshwater catchments in the Wellington region but also relevant to other areas.
Managing waterways on farms
A guide to sustainable water and riparian management in rural New Zealand.
Dairy NZ's online tool gives guidance for rural properties on creating a riparian management plan to fence, plant and protect waterways.
Million Metres Stream Project
Help put life back into our streams by finding a project and donating. Crowdfund your conservation project to improve the water quality and biodiversity of your local waterway.
Stream Health Monitoring and Assessment Kit (SHAMK)
This kit gives landowners, iwi, schools and community groups simple, scientifically-sound tools and resources required to monitor the ecological health of New Zealand’s streams.
Maintaining fish passage
The New Zealand fish passage guidelines
Guidelines to set the foundation for improved fish passage management in New Zealand.
Caring for urban streams guide 6 - fish passage
This guide outlines the importance of maintaining fish passage in the urban environment and highlights some solutions.
Fish passage management
An overview of why maintaining fish passage is so important, the common barriers and steps to manage fish passage.
Caring for wetlands and lakes
Wetlands monitoring and assessment kit
WETMAK is an online resource by NZ Landcare Trust for community groups to monitor wetland restoration projects.
Our wetland restoration plan
A restoration plan template for wetlands created by Waikato Regional Council.
A handbook for New Zealand Freshwater Systems bringing together expertise from specialists and groups actively engaged in restoring wetlands throughout the country.
Our wetlands are in crisis and need your help. Find out what Forest and Bird and doing and how you can support them.
Media release: New Zealand's wetlands remain at risk on private land
A media release from February 2020 about the loss of wetlands on private land across New Zealand, including statistics on damage to Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland's wetlands.
National Wetland Trust of New Zealand
A trust that aims to increase knowledge, appreciation and understanding of wetlands.
A beginners guide to wetland restoration
A publication that outlines the background of wetlands and their importance to the environment, especially in the Wellington region.
Wetlands protection guide
Get support on restoring wetlands, and find out what to plant on your land.
Guide to Auckland's wetlands
Discover a world of wonderful wet places, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of our region’s wetlands.
Understanding the 'wet' in wetland
The Greater Wellington Regional Council's guide on the management of freshwater wetland hydrology.