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Defining 'natural wetlands' and 'natural inland wetlands' Guidance to support the interpretation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020

This guidance clarifies the application of the definitions of ‘natural wetlands’ and ‘natural inland wetlands’ as defined in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) 2020. It also clarifies the policy intent of the definitions and covers common queries about interpreting the definitions and recent relevant case law. 

For a quick reference guide to defining ‘natural wetlands’ for the purposes of the NPS-FM, see the downloadable flowchart.

Updated August 2021. 

The Ministry for the Environment is reviewing this guidance to ensure it accurately reflects case law.

This guidance clarifies the application of the definitions of ‘natural wetlands’ and ‘natural inland wetlands’ as defined in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) 2020. It also clarifies the policy intent of the definitions and covers common queries about interpreting the definitions and recent relevant case law. 

For a quick reference guide to defining ‘natural wetlands’ for the purposes of the NPS-FM, see the downloadable flowchart.

Updated August 2021. 

The Ministry for the Environment is reviewing this guidance to ensure it accurately reflects case law.