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The Importance of Wetlands

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Wetlands are special, helpful environments.

Flood control

Wetlands soak up water during heavy rain, then let it go slowly to help stop flooding.

Water quality

As water moves into a wetland, it is cleaned by the plants. This cleaning protects downstream environments.

Sediment removal

Wetlands stop sediment flowing into rivers, lakes and harbours where it can smother the bottom with silt. Silt damages habitats for plants, invertebrates and fish.


You can do many activities at wetlands like boating, fishing, swimming, bird watching, whitebaiting and hunting.

Tourism and education

People like to visit wetlands. There are many different plants and animals to see and learn about.

Special habitats

Many of New Zealand’s endangered  plants and animals need wetlands to survive.


Audio Māori keywords: 

Ask yourself: What wetland benefit do you value most? Why?

Braided Rivers

Value to Māori


How do plants like this carex secta/pūkio help wetlands? Image: LEARNZ.

Wetlands stop sediment flowing into rivers. How do they do this? Image: LEARNZ.

There is a lot to discover at wetlands. What would you like to find out? Image: LEARNZ.

What activities can you do at wetlands? Image: LEARNZ.

Special plants can be found in wetlands. This is bladderwort from an ephemeral tarn. What sorts of adaptations might they have? Image: DOC.

Native fish can be found in wetlands (pictured: brown mudfish). What fish do you think you would find in a wetland near you? Image: LEARNZ.