Protecting Waitaki's lake shores


​​27 November 2020

With international travel suspended and Christmas holidays approaching many people are making the most of the situation to explore the country and a lot will be travelling to our renown lakes for camping, boating, fishing and other recreational activities within the setting of expansive, high country mountain ranges.

Our lakeshores on the Waitaki River have been created as a result of hydro development.  They are modified environments with water flow tightly controlled for renewable energy, irrigation and drinking water needs, whilst looking after the health of the lakes and river.   

Nonetheless these areas hold a special attachment for locals and visitors alike.  Waitaki River, Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore are specifically listed statutory acknowledgement areas, with strong associations for local runanga.

Should we provide for new holiday homes and even rural-residential type settlements at various places along these shores?  Is the area to absorb more development before the look and feel of these places are changed forever?  The district plan review is the forum to discuss how to get the balance right and how far we go to accommodate further development while  protecting what we treasure the most about the natural character of our lakes and their margins. 

Mayor Gary Kircher urges residents to give their views on what that balance should be. "We are so very lucky to have the lakes and the Waitaki river as our backyard. But they need to be cared for, and we want to protect their special nature for generations to come."

This is still the start of conversation and the Planning Team would be keen to hear more from the community about what you think about development on our lake shores. That feedback will then help us draft the Plan for full consultation with the public, which should occur in the early part of next year.

If you want to share some thoughts on how the new District Plan should cover lake shore development , contact Rachael Bason on 03 433 0300 or email

Page reviewed: 01 Dec 2020 7:58am