World Wetlands Day 2001: New Zealand


newzealand.gif (2544 bytes)

Fish and Game New Zealand plans fifteen activities throughout the country


December 21 2001


Fifteen activities will take place from Northland to Invercargill to celebrate International World Wetlands Day on February 2, Fish and Game New Zealand announced today. Fish and Game New Zealand is the national coordinator for the Day. Contributions will be made by Regional Councils and the Department of Conservation.

February 2 marks the anniversary of the signing in 1971 of the international wetlands convention at "Ramsar" in Iran to which New Zealand is a signatory. The Day highlights the importance of wetland ecosystems.

This year’s international theme nominated by the Ramsar Bureau is "Wetland World - A world to discover!"

Since European settlement 90 percent of New Zealand wetlands have been destroyed.

"New Zealand’s record at preserving this vital environmental resource has improved from a point 10 years ago where we were facing a disaster," says Bryce Johnson, Director, Fish and Game New Zealand, "but our wetlands are still endangered. Our lowland wetlands are one of our most distinctive and threatened natural ecosystems. We have a long way to go not only to preserve them, but to grow their recreational and tourist potential. New Zealand has less than 10% of the wetlands that were present in pre European times."

Events Taking Place to Mark International World Wetlands Day are:


The Borrow Cut wetland, a joint project between Fish and Game and the Whangarei District Council, will be officially opened. This wetland is 20 minutes drive north of Whangarei and even though it is a newly formed area, it is already a thriving wildlife habitat.


Fish and Game, Environment Waikato and DoC will be running an event at Lake Ngarota, near Te Awamutu. The Environment Waikato wetland awards will be announced.

Hawke's Bay

Fish and Game and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and DoC will be running a dawn breakfast at the Waitangi Wetland in Napier. Similar events will be held on 9th February at Wairoa, and on Fri 16th February at Waipukurau.

Bay of Plenty

In Opotiki Fish and Game and Environment Bay of Plenty are supporting a landowners information morning. It consists of a field visit to a wetland that has been developed on private land. The Norske-Skog timber mill in Kawerau will have an open day for their wetland.


Taranaki Regional Council and Fish and Game are organizing a field trip to the Oakura wetland. The Regional Council, Fish and Game and DoC will be running a supplement on wetlands in the Daily News.


A new wetland will be launched at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary on the morning of February 2. The New Zealand Wetlands Awards will be announced along with the new issue of the NZ Gamebird Habitat Trust Board Stamp.


The upgraded Opawa sewage treatment plant will be launched by the Marlborough District Council in conjunction with Fish and Game New Zealand on February 2. The treatment station has a wetland associated with it, which has now become the home of a large number of birds. A series on wetlands will be run in the "Nelson Marlborough Farmer."


Fish and Game and DoC will be organizing a tour and a barbecue at the Kaituna Lagoon, Lake Waihora and Lake Wairewa.


An educational supplement will feature in the Otago Daily Times outlining the value of wetlands with information on establishing them.


A bus trip to the Fish and Game wetlands, Waiau Trust wetlands and Mahika-Kai Trust Wetlands.

For further information please contact:

Graham Ford
W. (04) 499 4767

Or your local Fish and Game region:

Fish and Game Regional Contacts

  • Northland: Graham White (09) 438 4135
  • Auckland/Waikato: John Dyer
  • Rotorua/Hawkes Bay: Carissa Lough (07) 357 5501
  • Taranaki: Allen Stancliff (06) 345 4908
  • Wellington: Blake Abernethy
  • Nelson/Marlborough: Lawson Davey (03) 544 6382
  • Canterbury: Ross Millichamp (03) 366 9191
  • West Coast: Ian Hadland (03) 755 8546
  • Central South Island: Graeme Hughes (03) 436 0130
  • Otago Richard Fitzpatrick (03) 479 6556
  • Southland: Zane Moss (03) 215 9117.


-- Graham Ford (, Fish and Game New Zealand

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe