Repo/Wetlands (Present and On-going)

Repo (wetlands) are an important part of our freshwater ecosystems providing habitat for many of our fish, invertebrates, birds and plants. Culturally, they underpin and form an important part of the practices and associated worldviews of many indigenous peoples around the world.

Aotearoa has a terrible track record with our wetlands, with only 90% remaining compared to pre-1840 records. In the Waikato, we are lucky to have internationally recognised RAMSAR wetlands – Whangamarino (the largest freshwater wetland in the North Island located near Rangiriri and Meremere) and Kopuatai (the largest remaining peatland in Aotearoa in Hauraki). However, both of these systems are at threat from a range of pressures including land use changes (drainage, excavation), pest plants (e.g., alligator weed, sweet reedgrass, grey willows) and pest animals (e.g., feral cats, stoats, ferrets, koi carp), and climate change including risks associated with drought, flooding and sea-level rise (especially salt water intrusion).

All of the projects you see on this page are linked to wetlands in some way as part of the whakapapa of the Waikato River system.

Key Links

Wetland Restoration. A handbook for New Zealand freshwater systems
Te reo o te repo: The voice of the wetland
Te reo o te repo – kei konei tonu au: The Voice of the Wetland – I am still here
Te reo o te repo: The language of the swamp
Integrated Research Toolkit – Case study: Te Reo o Te Repo (
Collection - Te repo / wetlands — Science Learning Hub

Some useful links


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