DOC joins Lake Ellesmere co-governance team

by Anonymous Author

The Department of Conservation has joined the co-governance partnership aimed at protecting and restoring Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere.

The decision came after a recent visit to the lake by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, with the Department of Conservation (DOC) joining the current co-governors, which include the Selwyn District Council along with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council.

Co-chairs Steve Lowndes (Environment Canterbury) and Lisa Tumahai (Ngai Tahu), said the inclusion of the department was a significant milestone as the co-governors raise the bar in terms of the collaborative effort needed to deliver their vision for Te Waihora.

“We are delighted that the minister has agreed to this important step,” the co-chairs said.

“It is a logical and timely move — because the department is deeply involved in activities in and around the lake.

“It is a significant lake margin landholder and already has a joint management plan with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, and is involved in the Living Water partnership with Fonterra.

“It is also the agency responsible for inanga/whitebait — one of the iconic species to be found in Te Waihora.”

Ms Sage said she was pleased the Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai, had joined the co-governance group.

“DOC is a significant land manager around the lake, and I am pleased the department’s partnership work will now be formally recognised by being part of the co-governance relationship for the benefit of the lake.”

The co-chairs said the commitment from the Department of Conservation would enhance integrated management across the catchment.