Reflecting on high country lakes progress

Published: 27 May 2024

Nearly two years on from adopting a 30-year plan for the future of Lakes Camp and Clearwater (Ōtautari & Te Puna a Taka), Ashburton District Council is reflecting on the actions already ticked off.

Mayor Neil Brown said that developing the plan with the community was key to helping bring its vision to life.

“More than 150 people gave their views to shape the plan and this meant we were able to work quickly on some of the actions.”

“We developed this plan to ensure Council does all we can do to reduce negative environmental impacts on our lakes and settlement area.”

One of the first actions was producing an educational brochure in October 2022. (A visitor’s guide to local rules that protect this special environment).

This is handed out to members of the public by DOC, ECan and ADC staff.

Copies are also available at key locations and information was provided to the Lake Clearwater Hutholders.

Signs and mitigation actions were put in place to prevent four-wheel drive damage at Lake Camp, improve recycling, restrict freedom camping and limit large tourist buses disrupting the area.

Toilets and long drops were also a focus to ensure they don’t contribute to water quality issues.

Council installed a replacement set of toilets at the West end of Lake Camp in 2023/24 to replace old long drops that were removed.

All bach owners now comply with the requirement to de-commission long drops and have a holding tank or other means, and Council undertakes compliance inspections.

“The hutholders at the settlement have been really great for Council to work with,” Mayor Brown said.

The Ashburton Lakes area is also a key part of Council’s new Biodiversity Strategy launched last Monday.

Ashburton District Council is part of the Ōtuwharekai Working Group which is a multi-organisational group, including iwi, which is tasked with improving water quality.

Share this article

More News

View all news