Love our Lakes - Keep the Waitaki lakes clean

If you're planning a trip to the Waitaki lakes do your bit to protect the environment and the māuri (life force) of the water.

A birds eye view of a picnic blanket with food on it

Love our lakes: bring your own waste-free picnic

With the summer holidays fast approaching, the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee is letting visitors to the Waitaki lakes know they need to be responsible to help protect water quality.

Committee chair Mat Bayliss said with the popularity of the area amongst domestic tourists, as well as an increase of international visitors arriving in New Zealand, it’s looking to be a busy summer on the lakes and waterways.

“We’re expecting a good number of people this summer and we’re really hoping everyone takes good care of our lakes,” he said.

One simple thing the water zone committee is encouraging people to do to Love our Lakes is to reduce the rubbish we generate.

“It may take a little more planning but a waste-free picnic - using reusable containers, a water bottle, flask and plates – really cuts down on the rubbish that’s le­­ft when you pack up. The difference is surprising, a couple of apple cores versus a bag of rubbish.”

“If we’re all more mindful of what we bring to lakeside areas, then it’s much easier to leave behind only footprints.” he said.

Other ways to Love our Lakes

Other ways to be ­­environmentally responsible when visiting these areas are:

  • bin any rubbish you have or take it with you
  • poo in a loo - remember to use the public toilets. Poo impacts water quality and only small amount can pollute a whole swimming area
  • wash clothes or dishes away from the lake – detergents can impact water quality
  • take measures not to spread aquatic weeds (Check, Clean, Dry).

Following these steps will reduce your impact on the water quality of our lakes and protect the native plants, animals and birds that live here as well.

More drinking water available across Waitaki campgrounds

Waitaki District Council has upgraded water supplies at some of its lakes camping grounds ahead of this summer – which means there are even more places to fill up your re-usable drinking water bottles.

The installation of 5km of pipeline to supply camping grounds means there is now drinking water available for the campers at four camping grounds this season. This includes Parsons Rock, Loch Laird and Wildlife Reserve camping grounds. The Ōtematata Boat Harbour camping ground already had drinking water available.

About the Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee

The Upper Waitaki Water Zone Committee is a joint committee made up of community members, rūnanga and local councils.

As well as the Love our Lakes campaign, the committee has a three-year action plan with goals to work with the community to improve the health of key waterways.  These include actions to protect and enhance mahinga kai resource gathering, improve the recreational values of the Waitaki Lakes, support catchment groups, and work with farming groups to help reduce nutrient loss to waterways. Find out more on our water zone page.