Co-Governors welcome Department of Conservation

The Co-Governors of Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere (Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council) today announced that the Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai, had joined the co-governance partnership.

This followed a visit from the Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, last week.

Co-Chairs Steve Lowndes (Environment Canterbury) and Lisa Tumahai (Ngāi Tahu) said the inclusion of the Department was a significant milestone as the Co-Governors raise the bar in terms of the collaborative effort needed to deliver their vision for Te Waihora.

“We are delighted that the Minister has agreed to this important step,” the Co-Chairs said. “It is a logical and timely move because the Department is deeply involved in activities in and around the lake.

“It is a significant lake margin landholder and already has a joint management plan with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.  It is involved in the Living Water partnership with Fonterra. It is also the agency responsible for īnanga / whitebait, one of the iconic species to be found in Te Waihora.”

Ms Sage said she was pleased the Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai, had joined the Co-Governance group.

“DOC is a significant land manager around the lake and I am pleased the Department’s partnership work will now be formally recognised by being part of the co-governance relationship for the benefit of Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere.”

The Co-Chairs said this commitment from the Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai, would enhance integrated management across the catchment.
“It is through relationships like this that we will find the way forward,” they said.

“We are looking to provide direction for all those who have a role in or responsibility for restoring the mauri of Te Waihora while maintaining a prosperous land-based economy and thriving communities for current and future generations.

“It will help us greatly in promoting integration and alignment of actions across the lake and catchment within a restoration and rejuvenation framework, to share decision making and responsibilities, and to provide the intergenerational focus that will be so important to Te Waihora’s future.”