Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The Department of Conservation is running a photo competition that puts the focus on their Ō Tū Wharekai Wetland Restoration Project, in the Ashburton Lakes area.

Date:  26 February 2010

To mark International Year of Biodiversity the Department of Conservation [DOC] is holding an  Ō Tū Wharekai photo competition. 

The competition which runs until 22 May, has six categories to suit a wide range of interests. Plants, animals, recreation, wetlands and landscapes as well as a category for under 15 years means there are photographic opportunities for everyone. 

Wendy Sullivan, Ō Tū Wharekai project coordinator says; “We wanted to create a chance for people to get out into this fascinating area and capture its magic.  

“Only 45,600 ha of wetlands remain, which is only 9.4 per cent of their original extent. Ō Tū Wharekai is a really diverse and important region that represents one of the most intact wetlands in New Zealand. The project includes the braided upper reaches of the Rangitata River, and the 12 lakes that make up the Ashburton Lakes, along with ephemeral turfs, streams, swamps and bogs”. 

Ō Tū Wharekai is the Māori name for the Ashburton Lakes and upper Rangitata River. The name refers to when it was a natural well-stocked food house which travellers could harvest on their way to the coast.

“There are some great prizes including a 20-minute scenic flight for four with Mt Hutt Helicopters,” says Ms Sullivan. 

“All the winners will be advertised through the O Tü Wharekai website and selected entries will be displayed in the library in Ashburton and also in a gallery in Christchurch”. 

Further details are on the website The competition closes 7 May 2010 and the entries will be exhibited in Ashburton and Christchurch.


Back to top