The wetland at the Manawatū Wastewater Treatment Plant will add an extra filtration process that will help to break down any remaining contaminants in the water before it is released into the Ōroua River.

Council has partnered with Ngāti Kauwhata on this project, as the river holds special significance to them, and their Jobs for Nature team are leading the planting work being done. Earthworks on the wetlands began back in August 2022, which involved moving approximately 30,000 cubic metres of soil. The inlet and outlet structures are currently being built, and now we're also into planting. We're aiming to have the wetland operational by December 2023.

The wetland will be planted with over 80,000 native plants specifically selected for their treatment properties. All of the plants have been sourced and grown by our own Kawakawa Nursery and the Jobs for Nature team with a huge amount of time and effort put in.

The wetland has been designed to treat over 6 million litres (6000 m3) of wastewater per day and will take 3 days for the water to travel its length. It is hoped that the wetland will create a diverse ecology mimicking naturally occurring wetlands as much as possible.

The access road in the middle of the wetland has been constructed using recycled material from Central Demolition’s concrete crushing operation which is nearby. It’s another great example of how that partnership between Council and Central Demolition has been beneficial for both parties, and the wider community.

Blessing of the land

Some images from the blessing of the land by mana whenua Ngāti Kauwhata.


These images show the scale of the wetlands that are being constructed. The access road that has been built by Central Demolition goes through the middle of the wetlands.


Our Kawakawa Nursery team and Jobs for Nature recently started planting at the wetlands. Plants in the wetlands include harakeke...

Stuff to know

Here's three key facts about this project that you should know.