Public consultation on Lake Tuakitoto coming

Lake Tuakitoto, near Kaitangata in South Otago. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Lake Tuakitoto, near Kaitangata in South Otago. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Public consultation on the future of a "special place" in South Otago will begin online later this month.

Following twin community workshops held in Kaitangata on April 5 and June 7, Otago Regional Council (ORC) is finalising the collation of potential projects to enhance Lake Tuakitoto, 10km to Balclutha’s east.

The 544ha shallow lake and associated wetlands are a nationally important habitat for birds, waterfowl and freshwater fish — including the South Island fernbird, galaxiids and both long- and shortfin eel — and are highly valued by Kai Tahu iwi, and by duck hunters.

An ORC representative said 42 people attended the second workshop in June, up from 33 in April, and those attending had brainstormed potential projects for achieving the four main goals identified at the first workshop (lake management, silt control, access and walking track improvement, and biodiversity improvements).

Several projects had been identified, giving "a good starting direction as to how to achieve the community’s goals for the future of the lake."

The next step for ORC was to formulate those projects into a document for consultation, which would be released via the council’s online engagement platform, YourSay, later this month.

"Once online consultation has closed, this will give ORC a good idea of what projects the community want to see happening and which are seen as a priority. A third and final workshop will be held in October, at which people will be able to see the overall community vision for the future of the lake and surrounding area," the ORC representative said.

Some of the projects eventually confirmed would be managed by ORC, and run in parallel with projects undertaken by other organisations and community groups.

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