Waipārera (Waituna Lagoon) is one of the best remaining examples of a natural coastal lagoon in New Zealand and is unique in Southland and New Zealand. It is a highly valued, large, brackish coastal lagoon that is fed by three creeks, and drains to the sea through a managed opening initially for fish passage and more recently to help manage drainage for surrounding farms. Historically the lagoon was surrounded by peat bog wetland, the drainage from which gave the lagoon its characteristic clear brown stain, low nutrient status, and low pH. It had high ecological habitat diversity, a unique macrophyte community (Ruppia dominated), internationally important bird life, and large areas of relatively unmodified wetland and terrestrial vegetation. In addition, it is highly valued for its aesthetic appeal, its rich biodiversity, duck shooting, fishing (for brown trout primarily), boating, walking, and scientific appeal (source lawa.co.nz).