Managing our wetlands

Closed 27 Oct 2021

Opened 1 Sep 2021

Results updated 16 Jun 2022

From 1 September to 27 October 2021, the Ministry for the Environment consulted on proposed amendments to the wetland regulations within the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020. A total of 262 individual submissions, and approximately 5,860 form submissions from Forest and Bird, were received on the proposals.

Thank you to all who made a submission.

Read the summary of submissions [PDF, 1.7 MB]


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Wetlands play an important role in maintaining the health of New Zealand’s waters.  But New Zealand’s wetlands are at risk. Ninety per cent of wetlands have been lost since human settlement began and there is ongoing degradation and loss. The Government is committed to preserving the ecological value of wetlands.

Why we are consulting

Following stakeholder feedback, we are proposing to make the following amendments to natural wetland provisions in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater.

  • Make the definition of 'natural wetland' clearer.
  • Make it easier to undertake maintenance and restoration activities in and around natural wetlands.
  • Provide regulatory provision for biosecurity activities in and around natural wetlands.
  • Including Resource Management Act 1991 consenting pathways for quarrying, landfills, cleanfills and managed fills, mineral mining and urban development.

Read the discussion document on Managing our wetlands [PDF, 3.1MB]

What happens next

This consultation closed on 27 October 2021.

We will report back to the Minister on submissions received and develop final policy advice that considers these submissions.

If you have any further questions email the wetlands team at