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By Daniel Collins

Over the past two weeks we’ve had seven articles on wetlands from across New Zealand’s research and management communities. The occasion was World Wetlands Day on February 2. The articles provided a great cross-section of analysis on how we perceive, preserve and study wetlands. Here is a summary:

Catherine Knight, from Massey University, started the series with an historical account of wetlands in New Zealand and changes in perceptions, language and landscapes.

Philip Grove, from Canterbury Regional Council, shared results of a study of Canterbury’s coastal wetlands – their composition, state, and pressures.

Shonagh Lindsay, from the National Wetland Trust, described the National Wetland Trust’s project taking shape around Lake Serpentine – the Trust’s new centre, educational facilities, and restoration efforts.

Dave Campbell, from University of Waikato, described research on the carbon balance of peat wetlands.

Daniel Collins, from NIWA, put wetlands into the water cycle, combing natural history with etymology.

Hugh Robertson, from the Department of Conservation, described the conservation of internationally important wetlands within New Zealand.

Bev Clarkson, from Landcare Research, concluded the series by giving an overview of the research on wetland restoration in New Zealand.

I hope you have enjoyed the articles and learned a lot – please tell us how you thought the series went. And if you have any questions about wetlands, requests for more articles, or your own insights, please make a note of them in the comments below – hopefully the series authors or audience members can weigh in.


Dr Daniel Collins is a hydrologist and water resources scientist at NIWA.