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:0.57m wind affected average lake level recorded on March 17, 2017 READ MORE >>

Latest News

We have a vacancy

March 22nd, 2017|

Waihora Ellesmere Trust is looking for a new General Manager (our fantastic GM Adrienne is moving on to a new challenge in April). Would you or anyone you know have the skills and experience for [...]

2017 Te Waihora Bird Census – the results are in!

February 17th, 2017|

The unconfirmed results of this year's survey are now up on our website and there are photos on our Facebook page.  Thanks to everyone who part - it was a great day out!

New tool for Selwyn Waihora farmers

February 9th, 2017|

A media release from Environment Canterbury: New tool for Selwyn Waihora farmers | Environment Canterbury Date: 07 Feb 2017 Category: News | Environment | Water Quality | Farming | Water Zone(s): Selwyn Waihora Environment Canterbury [...]

Consents to farm in Selwyn Waihora

February 7th, 2017|

Around 900 landholders will need to obtain a land use consent to farm in Selwyn Waihora under new rules in Plan Change 1 of the Land and Water Regional Plan. ECan is holding some drop [...]

WET Featured Articles

The WaiLW logohora Ellesmere Trust is very pleased to be working with Living Water, a partnership between DOC and Fonterra, to help achieve their goals and to further the aims of the Trust. Our ‘Living Water Updates’ page will keep you up to date with what’s happening with this exciting project.


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.