Lakes feedback sought

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The glorious mirror view of Lake Clearwater. Photo Murray Thompson.

Community views are being sought for a 30-year plan being developed for lakes Camp and Clearwater.

The plan is being developed by the Ashburton District Council and aims to represent the views of iwi, the community and council. Feedback, via the council website, is from now until March 13 at 5pm.

Council strategy and compliance group manager Jane Donaldson said consultation would help council understand people’s hopes for the future of the area.

“Lakes Camp and Clearwater are a popular spot for hutholders and visitors, but reports show that Lake Clearwater is currently in a fragile state and that its water quality is declining. We want to make sure the environmental health of the whole area improves and control the impact of future development.

Environment Canterbury has buoys in the middle of lakes Clearwater and Heron, and near the shore of lakes Camp and Emma, and are collecting data on the lakes health.

Mrs Donaldson said the area needed to be protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations, and how we get there will require everyone to play their part, including council.”

Lake Clearwater is at risk of flipping, meaning it could reach a point of degradation that is difficult to reverse.

As part of an inquiry into why the water quality is reducing, council told hutholders in April 2021 long drop toilets in the village would need to be decommissioned by December 31.

There were also concerns around the accuracy of leasehold boundaries of some sites.

Council will work on a 30-year plan with Te Runanga o Arowhenua and Ngai Tahu, which have significant interest in the area, Environment Canterbury, the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and Lake Clearwater Hutholders Association and bach owners.