wildlife habitat pic

Wildlife habitat restoration

Fish Habitat – With Descriptor

About the project

Living Water has partnered with landowners, community and iwi to carry out lake restoration activities. These include replacing exotic weeds (primarily willow and blackberry) with native plants around lake riparian margins, predator control by trapping, creating pest fish traps, retiring and restoring previously grazed public land.

Living Water is also partnering with the Waikato Regional Council, Waipa and Waikato District Councils and the Waikato River Authority to carry out a Floating Wetland trial and the construction of many silt traps to intercept and reduce the flow of sediment and nutrients into these lakes

In order to carry out the wildlife habitat restoration project, Living Water has improved public access to all three lakes.


  • Enhanced habitat around the lake margins of Areare, Ruatuna and Rotomānuka – for increased native biodiversity and filtering of nutrients and sediment.
  • Restoration of globally rare peat ecosystem
  • Combining resources with other partners increases scale and size of restored area while building stakeholder network 


  • Trapping has been in progress in Areare since early 2016, Ruatuna since mid-2016, and Rotomanuka since mid-2017. Ruatuna has exhibited slight increases in spotless crake numbers, indicating low predator numbers. Read about crake work here.
  • Willow and blackberry control continues
  • Extensive planting of lakes – more than 200,000 plants over the three lakes.
  • Sediment traps in place 
  • Pest fish trap installed at Areare and on council drain between Rotomanuka and Rotopiko.
Dion Patterson

Dion Patterson

DOC Site Lead, Waikato Peat Lakes