Opinions sought on shore use

Lake Benmore is one of several sites the Waitaki District Council is seeking feedback on. PHOTO:...
Lake Benmore is one of several sites the Waitaki District Council is seeking feedback on. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
The Waitaki District Council is seeking feedback from its residents on the future landscape of its lake shores.

Covid-19 put a stop to international tourists this year, but it has resulted in an increase in domestic tourism, especially at the Waitaki River, Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore.

The demand was so high season camping tickets have already sold out for the Falstone Creek, Sailors Cutting and Boat Harbour camping grounds and casual camping will not be allowed at those grounds between December 20 and January 10.

The areas were statutory acknowledged sites, and had strong associations for local runanga.

The council intended to use its district plan review, to discuss options of providing further accommodation in the future, while balancing the sites’ natural character.

The review questioned whether there should be new holiday homes and rural residential settlements provided, or were more visitors required before new structures needed to be built.

Mayor Gary Kircher urged residents to give their views on what the balance should be throughout the district.

"We are so very lucky to have the lakes and the Waitaki River as our backyard. But they [the shores] need to be cared for, and we want to protect their special nature for generations to come," Mr Kircher said.

The feedback received would be the start of the conversation and the council’s planning team wanted to hear about other possibilities on the lake shores.

It would help draft the plan for full consultation with the public next year.

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