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Passion of wetland supporters recognised

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The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage gave a ‘shout out’ to everyone who has championed wetlands at the opening of the National Wetland Restoration Symposium today. The NZ Wetland Trust organises the symposium and this year Hawke's Bay Regional Council is a major sponsor of the event being held in Napier.

“We don’t fully appreciate wetlands and the services that nature provides for free,” she said.

Minister Sage said that the Department of Conservation has added many thousands of hectares of wetlands to the conservation estate in recent times, and has a number of programmes in place. Many are now managed in the public domain thanks to councils.  She also recognised the number of farmers creating wetlands on their land.

National Wetland Trust Chairman said the theme of the symposium “living wetlands in living landscapes’ recognises that wetlands can be solutions to challenges such as water quality and water conservation.

“They can make a substantial contribution to solving human impacts, by conserving and restoring wetlands, and even replicating wetland systems.”

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chairman Rex Graham welcomed attendees to Hawke’s Bay and thanked them for their passion and vision in this work.

“Wetlands are definitely on the agenda for Hawke’s Bay with Pekapeka as a star wetland.  Whakaki is the next project which we want to be as good as Pekapeka, and we are working on it with the local Trust and Nga Rahui Whenua.”

More than 200 people from around the country are attending the National Wetland Symposium at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre. Presentations from iwi organisations, government and councils, farming sector, universities and consultancies are covering a wide range of wetland related topics.

Australian ecologist Matt Herring will be the guest speaker on Thursday morning 27 September, and there will be a field trip to the wetland restoration projects around the Heretaunga Plains on Friday.

The symposium is held every two years in different parts of the country by the National Wetland Trust.  This year the Trust has teamed up with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Department of Conservation, and Fish and Game Hawke’s Bay.

The National Wetland Trust is grateful to the symposium sponsors Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Department of Conservation’s Arawai Kākāriki Programme, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Fish and Game New Zealand, NIWA, Wildlands, and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.

26 September 2018

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