Lake Wairarapa is part of the largest lake/wetland complex in the southern North Island, and is situated just a few kilometres south of Featherston on the eastern side of the Wellington Region. The lake is considered to be of both national and international importance due to its significant cultural, ecological, recreational and natural character values. A National Water Conservation Order was placed on Lake Wairarapa in 1989. In 2020 Wairarapa Moana wetland complex gained Ramsar status, and is now recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. New Zealand must manage, protect and monitor the values of Wairarapa Moana.