Guardians of Lake Dunstan keen to make a difference

Guardians of Lake Dunstan meet with local government and various agencies involved in the...
Guardians of Lake Dunstan meet with local government and various agencies involved in the management of Lake Dunstan. In attendance were: Tim Cadogan - Mayor of Central Otago, Steph Forrest, Diane Cardwell and Kevin Gallagher from LINZ, Boyd Brinsden from Contact, Rose Quirk from Colliers, Alexa Forbes and Gary Kelleher from the ORC, Robin Dicey from the CCB.
It has been a productive year for the Guardians of Lake Dunstan Committee (GOLD). The AGM in February last year saw Glen Christiansen stand down as chairman after 3 years. Glen, along with his committee, laid the foundation for the current committee to work with.

Joining the committee was new Chairman Duncan Faulkner, Malcolm Lawson, Karleigh Hoera, Karen Gallagher and Susan Walsh. They join original members Andrew Burton, Snow Turner and Fred Black. The commonality amongst all committee members is ensuring Lake Dunstan is preserved and protected for future generations. This is echoed in their mission statement.

The focus of the GOLD committee heading into the new decade is to develop a management plan for Lake Dunstan. At the top of their list are concerns about the build up of silt, the spread of lagarosiphon and freedom camping around the lake edge.

The group has been very proactive and had two major achievements last year - opposing the QLDC submission and getting charitable trust status.
Last year Karleigh Dimond presented on behalf of GOLD at a hearing in Queenstown, which opposed the QLDC submission to dump untreated waste into Kawerau River. This would have directly impacted Lake Dunstan downstream. The QLDC submission was declined. A win for GOLD and other groups opposing their submission.
The recently re-structured group gained charitable trust status meaning they can now apply for charitable funding for projects. The group is currently looking at funding options for the development of the lake management plan.

In December last year the GOLD met with key stakeholders (LINZ, Contact, CODC, CCB and the ORC) to discuss roles and responsibilities of these agencies in terms of Lake Dunstan. This helped the committee gain a better understanding of who they can consult in regard to issues around Lake Dunstan.

Throughout the busy summer period the GOLD sought community feedback regarding Lake Dunstan. Posters were placed around Lake Dunstan inviting locals and holiday makers to complete a survey about the things they liked, disliked or thought need improved around the Lake. The results of this survey will be compiled by GOLD and will help inform the lake management plan.

The GOLD plan to consult with the wider community over the coming months. They need as much community feedback as possible to develop a meaningful lake management plan which has community voice at the centre.

Lake Dunstan is such a valuable resource to the Cromwell community. The group hopes to raise awareness of the challenges the cromwell community face around their lake. These challenges are everyone's problem. The GOLD need your support and input.

If you would like to have your say on what Lake Dunstan needs please go to their website or Facebook page (link to feedback) and submit your feedback.

 - Karen Gallagher

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