Christchurch City Council has constructed a number of wetlands for stormwater management, arguably leading the way nationally in this space. In the past, much of Christchurch consisted of raupō swamp, deep peat swamps, and deep gullies that held water following rainfall. The subsequent issues with drainage and sewage resulted in these lowland wetland areas being drained, and waterways channelised, for many years following settlement, with little knowledge of the subsequent effects on ecological values.
Now the Christchurch City Council works towards a six-values approach to waterbody management, considering not just drainage, but ecology, culture, heritage, landscape, and recreation. To date, over 100 hectares of wetlands have been constructed or restored, with associated vegetation planted and waterways enhanced. The Council is also involved in research to better understand the success of wetland creation, predominantly around water quality treatment efficiency.