Introduction

This month the public has the opportunity to help the DOC plan for recreation opportunities in Ō Tū Wharekai (Ashburton lakes and upper Rangitata River).

Date:  05 November 2009

This month the public has the opportunity to help the DOC plan for recreation opportunities in Ō Tū Wharekai (Ashburton lakes and upper Rangitata River).

DOC has produced a discussion document to guide the planning, implementation and management of public activities in this nationally important area. This document is open to informal comments from the public until the 30th of November 2009.

Jenie Iles mountain biking at Lake Heron. Photograph: George Iles.
Jenie Iles mountain biking at Lake Heron

Gemma White, Community Relations Programme Manager, said "Ō Tū Wharekai is the most intact fresh water and braided river ecosystem remaining in the high country. We want public feedback and comment about where and how public recreation opportunities are provided within this important area."

Ō Tū Wharekai is one of three wetlands around the country managed as part of the national Arawai Käkäriki wetland programme. Arawai Kākāriki aims to restore wetlands with the assistance of the community, and increase knowledge about methods for wetland restoration along the way.

In addition to its outstanding biodiversity, Ō Tū Wharekai is highly valued for its recreation opportunities. The discussion document explores the range of these opportunities that are compatible with the area’s management. It proposes key activities people can enjoy without affecting the values of the area and the wetland restoration programme.

The discussion document is available to the public for informal comments until 30 November 2009. Throughout the document there are question boxes covering particular areas the department is keen to receive comment on.

Once feedback has been considered, the department will make decisions about the future management of the various recreational opportunities discussed in the document. These decisions will then be documented in a recreation plan for Ō Tū Wharekai.

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