This area would now be drained grassland if it were not for Fish & Game (what was then the Acclimatisation Society) buying over 200 hectares of wetlands. The Fish & Game wetlands are also adjacent to the sizable privately owned Ryburns Lagoon.

The Dean, Blythen, McKenzie and Cathcart Wetlands have established ponds and maimais. Hunting is only permitted from the hunting stands. Permits are required for entry - available free from Fish & Game Office (select here to request a permit).

Sites are balloted but anyone may hunt when stands are vacant after 7:30am later in the season. Please select here to view area outlines.

Access to the Fish & Game Wetlands


  1. McIntyre Road (off Kellyville Road), Pokeno-Mercer.
    Vehicular access is available to parking areas, thereafter foot access is available to 19 ponds.
  2. Mercer Boat Ramp, off Mercer Esplanade, smaller ramp off Riverside Road, Mercer.
    Many hunter use this site to access the Waikato River in the Mercer area.

  3. Off road vehicle parking available in season (gate is otherwise locked). Gated entry is behind metal pile next to Mangatawhiri River bridge off Pioneer Road. Vehicle track alongside the true right bank of the Mangatawhiri River. Note; the first property on left, signposted as North Emmett Wetland is closed to hunting.

    Foot access available from McKenzie Wetland (see above). Note; in times of flood there is safe footbridge access across Mill Creek.

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  • Mangatawhiri Wetlands3
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