An Aotearoa network of rewilded publicly managed rivers, lakes and wetlands flowing from the mountains down to the sea.
These freshwater taonga will flourish under integrated public management to enhance Te Mana o te Wai. They are ideal for rewilding of the riparian margin grazed areas, regeneration, and native forest along their entire length and area.
Publicly managed wetlands and river/lake beds/stratum and their riparian margins are nationally important as freshwater and native forest ecosystems. They are also important river landscapes, visitor destinations/attractions, recreation sites, and they are used extensively for mahinga kai and cultural harvest.
Over 80% of the species they contain are found nowhere else in the world. Many species are threatened or at risk and will benefit from urgent action under proactive integrated management and rewilding.
Publicly managed river/lake bed/stratum and riparian margins and wetlands amount to over 800,000 hectares, an area much larger than Kahurangi National Park.
They comprise about 90 wetlands, 300 lakes, 27,000 km of river/lake riparian margins, and 42,000 km of riverbed.
A new class of Reserve is needed to recognize the special importance of our publicly managed freshwater taonga - Te Mana o te Wai Reserve status under the Reserves Act. These new Reserves would form the backbone of ensuring future Te Mana o te Wai wellbeing.
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