Turn your water into wetland

With the long grey winter coming to a close, spring has seen new life with leaf buds and spring flowers starting to grow. If you are a green enthusiast, enjoy gardening or have a naturally wet area on your property then why not consider fencing it off and creating a pond.

What are Wetlands?

These are permanently or intermittently wet areas, shallow water and land that supports an ecosystem of plants and animals - provide some of the most valuable ecosystems in Southland.

They act as a natural filter trapping sediment and improving water quality, are a part of the water cycle which means they can reduce the impact of floods, act as a buffer zone by protecting streams and on-farm waterways from erosion and nutrients, provide recreational activities such as fishing, duck shooting and having picnics, and provide habitats for many native species of birds, fish and plants.

Restrictions on use

However, use of land within a wetland is only a permitted activity if the purpose is to maintain and enhance the wetland or maintain existing authorised structures providing certain criteria is met.

These criteria include that there is no:

  1. destruction or removal of any indigenous vegetation from any natural wetland;
  2. reduction in the size of the wetland;
  3. flooding or ponding caused on any land owned or occupied by another person; and
  4. establishment of pest plant species that may damage existing biodiversity values of the wetland or will form the dominant vegetation type in the wetland.

Do you need a consent?

In general consent is not required to create a wetland, however, consent is required for any wetland if you cannot meet the above conditions or want to use the land for a different purpose.

What happens if I comply with all criteria but the neighbouring land gets wet during winter - can I put a drain around the wetland to prevent flooding?

Unfortunately the answer is no and you will need to apply for consent as the drainage may affect the water levels in the wetland.

Photo atribution: Shellie Evans 2016