Community gets involved in Our Waitarakao

A joint project to make a plan to restore Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon and its surrounding catchment is off to a great start – with plenty of interest from the community at its June events in Timaru.

More than 40 people attended a drop-in event at Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre (C-Bay) on Tuesday evening. This was a chance to chat with the team, ask questions, and share stories and ideas for the future of the threatened coastal lagoon, and wider catchment.

It followed a similar event at the Timaru Artisan Farmers Market on Saturday. Many braved the chilly morning to find out more about the project – and the free, Our Waitarakao tote bags were a bit hit.

Our Waitarakao project lead, Chris Fauth, says some great conversations are being had – kicking off several months of engagement.

"We're really enjoying hearing what people like about the environment at Waitarakao. There's a wide range of interests, including around natural hazards, water quality, and environmental quality – both in the lagoon and up the streams.

"What's impressed me is we’ve had lots of people asking what actions they can take, and how they can get involved.

"This is the start of what will be a big process, and it's been really positive so far."

There are more drop-in events in the coming days, including one in Washdyke (209 Hilton Highway) on Monday 19 June. Check out the Our Waitarakao Facebook page or the "Events" section of, where you can also read more about the project in general and share your experiences of the lagoon.

Our Waitarakao is a collaboration between us, Department of Conservation, Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua and Timaru District Council.