The Awarua Wetland is a peatland area of 18,900 hectares (47,000 acres) in the Southland Region of New Zealand. The site, which was initially and area of about 3,556 hectares (8,790 acres), was designated as having international significance under the Ramsar Convention in 1976, using the name Waituna Wetlands Scientific Reserve.
Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick unveiled a plaque at New River Estuary on 4 May 2008. This wetland is unique in New Zealand as it includes privately owned ground (Gamble, Nicol, and Rance families).
On the northeast corner of the Toetoes Wetlands is an area of native bush of approximately 25 hectares (62 acres), which along with other areas of bush close by was covenanted to the QEII Trust by the Nicol Family. While not a true wetland it is an area of natural vegetation with an unmodified stream flowing from the wetlands through native brush and into the Mataura river. It is a small sanctuary for the declining native fresh water fish population.
- R.M. Thompson and G.R. Ryder. "Waituna Lagoon: summary of existing knowledge and identification of knowledge gaps" (PDF). New Zealand Department of Conservation. p. 6.
- "RAMSAR WETLANDS INFORMATlON SHEET" (PDF). Retrieved 11 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Minister attends wetlands ceremony". The Southland Times. 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- Ramsar Article 2.1 site 102
- "Waituna". Environment Southland. Retrieved 3 November 2011.