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Lake Hood

Spanning over 80 hectares, Lake Hood is a made-made recreational lake which offers user an aquatic playground within a 10 minute drive from Ashburton (Hakatere). The Lake, surrounded by picnic areas and walking trails, allows users the opportunity to swim, kayak and sail. The Lake has a separate designated rowing course and water and jet skiing areas.

Information on lake events and lake closures can be found here: Lake Hood activities and events

There is also staged residential development around the Lake, including sections adjacent to the Lake and larger lifestyle blocks in close walking distance to the Lake. Sections located on the canals also provide residents the opportunity to have a jetty to moor boats and kayaks.

Any new jetty installation in Stage 14 of the Lake Hood development requires Council approval before being installed, if the jetty is installed on the lake bed on Council land. Residents must apply for a Licence to Occupy to use Council land by submitting a 'Notification of Owner Decided Unconsented Work' and all associated documented as per the Lake Hood Jetty Guidelines – November 2023.

Before constructing a jetty in Lake Hood, Stage 14 residents must review the Jetty Guidelines- November 2023 and submit a Notice of Unconsented Works Form to Council.

The Notice and all relevant documents can be emailed through to Council or posted to Ashburton District Council, PO Box 94, Ashburton 7740.

Once this information lodged with Council, there is a Fee for a Building Exemption Fee (Link to 23/24 Fees and Charges is here).

A Licence to Occupy will be issued once the relevant documentation has been provided and the fee paid.

On 5 January 2024, Te Whatu Ora issued a public health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Lake Hood. The public health warning can be found here.

The type of cyanobacteria that is currently present is Dolichospermum, which can be present as green globules floating in the water column or form surface scums or sheens. The algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. Council is advising the public to adhere to the public health warning and avoid any recreational activities that involves contact with the water.  Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately.

Animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted. Animals that appear unwell after coming into contact with algal mats should be taken to a vet immediately.

Cyanobacterial blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g., increased temperature, calm days).  Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the visible blooms disappear.

Council, in conjunction with the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce, are still working on long-term solutions to improve the lake’s water quality. More information on the Taskforce can be found here.

Environment Canterbury monitors the lake weekly during summer and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance. Further information from Environment Canterbury can be found here.

Related media releases:

Lake Hood Health Warning In Place - 11 January 2024

From Te Whatu Ora - Health Warning: Algal bloom in Lake Hood and Canals - 5 January 2024

Following the cyanobacteria algal bloom in Lake Hood in early 2023, the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce was formed to investigate options to improve water quality at the lake.  The Taskforce comprises of representatives from Ashburton Aquatic Park Charitable Trust, the Huntingdon Park Property Owners Association, Lake Hood Extension Project and Ashburton District Council.

On the 12th February 2024, the Taskforce held a meeting to update Lake Hood residents on progress.  A copy of the presentation can be found here:  Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce Presentation.

Lake Hood News

Water quality experts engaged to help Lake Hood

About 180 Lake Hood residents gathered at the Lake House restaurant on Monday night to hear how the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce is battling algal bloom, which has seen a health warning on the lake since January.

Algal bloom advice sought from NIWA experts

The Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce, of which Council is a member, is commissioning a proposal from expert water scientists about how best to deal with algal blooms in Lake Hood.

Lake Hood water warning in place

Council is continuing to liaise with Te Whatu Ora and Environment Canterbury regarding the health warning in place for Lake Hood.

Lake Hood interventions under way to improve water quality

Proactively getting ahead of algal blooms has prompted the formation of the Lake Hood Water Quality Taskforce.