WET is a community organisation dedicated to the improvement of the health and biodiversity of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and its catchment.

Lake is currently:CLOSED Latest lake level reading:0.74m (average level) recorded on April 22, 2016 READ MORE >>

Latest News

Stock in waterways – so what are the rules?

April 13th, 2016|

New rules for farming and other activities came into force last September when the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) became operative. In February 2016 Plan Change 1, which are the additional rules which apply in [...]

2016 Te Waihora wetland bird count – the results are in

February 26th, 2016|

The results of the 2016 bird count, undertaken on February 13, 2016, have been collated. Visit the 2016 bird count page for more information.

Plan Change 1 – what does it mean for you?

February 18th, 2016|

The Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee is hosting a series of community meetings to discuss the rules in the Selwyn-Te Waihora Plan Change (Plan Change 1) of the Land & Water Regional Plan. Theses rules affect how [...]

No swimming at the Upper Selwyn Huts

January 22nd, 2016|

Springston resident and artist Mike Glover has had enough of the "sad state" of the Selwyn River.  In a front page article in the Central Canterbury News (Jan 20)  - which can be viewed online - [...]

WET Featured Articles

2015 report

Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere: State of the Lake 2015

A new report, released in November 2015, gives an overview of the health of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and changes over the last two years since the previous report. Topics covered include governance and management, land and water, flora and fauna, economy, recreation and cultural health.



Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere: State of the Lake 2013

A report, released in early November 2013, brings together information about the state of the land, water, wildlife, recreation, cultural health and more to create a snapshot of the state of the lake.



Sustainable Drains – an important focus for the trust

The land surrounding Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere has many natural springs and streams, modified waterways and constructed drainage channels. These combine to form a complex interconnected network and ultimately flow into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.


Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere

Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere, one of New Zealand’s most important wetland systems, is a brackish, shallow lagoon with an average depth of 1.4m. Covering around 20,000 hectares, Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere, which lies just to the south of Banks Peninsula, is New Zealand’s fifth largest lake and is internationally significant for its wildlife abundance and diversity. The total number of bird species recorded at the lake is 167, with at least 37 species breeding. 43 species of fish have been recorded in the lake.

Acknowledging the past and looking to the future, we:


Enhancing understanding, awareness and the value of the Lake through education programmes, newsletters, and field days.



Promoting better management practices through public seminars and by partnering with private landowners, community groups and government agencies.



Providing opportunities and encouragement for people to get actively involved in projects to rehabilitate the ecosystem through riparian and wetland enhancement.