Three new guardians appointed

Conservation Minister Nick Smith has appointed three new members to the Guardians of Lake Wanaka. They are John Darby, Don Robertson and Alan Cone.

Reappointed members are Helen Tait, Barrie Wills and Taare Bradshaw.

John Darby is retired but was previously assistant director and head of sciences at Otago Museum for 44 years.

He is involved with many conservation trusts, has a strong interest in natural sciences, and is surveying avifauna of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hayes.

Don Robertson is retired but was chief scientist for biodiversity and biosecurity for Niwa.

He has 38 years of experience in aquatic resource management and research, and is also involved with the Guardians of Lake Hawea.

Alan Cone is a semi-retired farmer and businessman. He has held many community positions and has a keen interest in environmental issues. He has previously been involved with Lake Wanaka issues.

The appointments are for three years.

A decision has yet to be made over who will chair the group.

Dr Smith said the Guardians of Lake Wanaka played an important overseeing role in the preservation of Lake Wanaka, which is one of the few southern lakes with an unmodified shoreline.

''The lake is protected by special legislation that provides the guardians with a watchdog role to ensure that the lake and its shoreline remain unspoilt for the enjoyment of future generations.''

They are empowered under the Lake Wanaka Preservation Act 1973 to report and make recommendations to the Minister of Conservation.