Springing into activity in the Upper Waitaki Lakes

Spring has arrived in the Upper Waitaki basin – a busy time for farmers in the area and for our local tourist operators, who are hopefully gearing up for summer visitors. 

Although COVID-19 restrictions mean our tourist season now looks different, we are expecting peak summer to be very busy, based on our experiences last year.

Love Our Lakes

To get ready for the influx of campers, trampers, boaties and cyclists, we’re now making plans for our Love Our Lakes campaign, targeting favourite domestic tourist hotspots in the area. 

For those of you that don’t know, Love Our Lakes is our community-led initiative to educate visitors on how to respect the lake environments to protect water quality, mahinga kai gathering and native biodiversity.

At our last meeting, held via videoconference, we discussed the key messages we want to get across to visitors to our area for this summer. 

Protecting water quality at the extremely popular swimming and rowing destination – Lake Ruataniwha – remains a top priority. 

A dedicated local working group has been leading the work to remind people to always use public toilets because One Poo Can Close the Lake.

This message needs to be well-heard again this year, so we can all enjoy another summer with water that’s safe for swimming, recreation and food gathering.

We’ll also continue to promote our other Love Our Lakes messages: get rid of any rubbish responsibly, wash clothes or dishes away from the lake and take measures not to spread aquatic weeds (Check, Clean Dry). 

If you want to support Love Our Lakes head to our website at www.ecan.govt.nz/loveourlakes and download some of our posters to display in your neighbourhood. You’ll hear and see more about Love Our Lakes closer to summer.

Protecting water quality in Lake Middleton

Another issue we discussed at our last meeting was the protection of water quality, biodiversity and native habitat in and around Lake Middleton, following on from last month’s presentation from Vivienne Smith-Campbell representing the Ōhau Conservation Trust

The committee visited Lake Middleton for an in-depth field trip two years ago and continues to take an interest in this special little lake, which has been through many changes and challenges, including last year’s devastating wildfire. 

There are many stakeholders engaged in planning and consultation around future plans for this area, with a strong focus on protecting the unique habitat Lake Middleton offers to rare birds and species. 

Next committee meeting

Instead of our October meeting, we will be holding a workshop to undertake some detailed planning relating to our Action Plan for the next three years.

We look forward to sharing more details on what our first priorities will be soon. In the meantime, you are welcome to download our Action Plan (PDF file, 559 KB) to get a feel for our primary goals.

Find out when the next meeting zone committee meeting is.