Rotokohu        the wetland                   

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This area has been designated by DoC as an area of high natural value and by the Taranaki Regional Council as the most significant wetland in the Matemateaonga Ecological district. The track that follows the Pokeka valley goes through this wetland, safely following the natural levee on the edge of the Pokeka river. The levee works well but it also allows cattle, goats, sheep, and deer browse through this area daily. Silting up of the Pokeka banks by floods is what perpetuates this wetland where the lake and swamp tends to be somewhat higher than the Pokeka River.

DoC's Protected Natural Areas (PNA) report states:

  • These are the most intact poor-draining silt floodplains in the ecological district
  • Some of the vegetation associations may be unique
  • Spotless crake and fernbird are present
  • The area has scenic value, being a mosaic of pools, streams and reed beds and is traversed by a popular tramping track to the Waitotara Conservation Area.
  • if stock access was controlled the wetland would be viable in the foreseeable future.

When it was suggested that this wetland was a good reason to keep the Pokeka track open, a local senior DoC Officer said it was "too precious to boardwalk"!!!!
DoC's removal of Pokeka hut does not encourage visitors to this area, and so there is little public monitoring of stock damage to the wetland. It is exposed to the usual sheep and cattle, but also goats and deer as well as the other usual pests. The farmer who owns the land adjacent to the public road that the track follows does not allow hunters access so this does not bode well for this wetland.

The track to the now extinct Pokeka Hut goes past this wetland. You will need to ask the farmer for permission - it is usually granted to walkers, but not to hunters. The track follows public road for all but the first part and it is this part that necessitates permission. However with mapping skills and access to cadastral information, eg you can follow the road reserve all the way.

There is an alternative, very scenic access to this area for those will reasonable skills and an ability to cross the Waitotara river safely. Establishment of this access would open up a number of day walk opportunities from this road end.


This wetland was seriously flooded in 2004.



(Modified map from

the wetlands

Deer in the public estate here that has been abandoned by DoC


the Rotokohu wetlands from upstream

the Rotokohu wetlands from downstream