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:OPEN Latest lake level reading:0.56m average wind affected lake level recorded on October 17, 2016 READ MORE >>

Latest News

A bird’s eye view of lake opening

October 17th, 2016|

The lake was opened in late September 2016 and Environment Canterbury captured some great aerial footage of the team at work. To view the short video clip, click here. The sea is relatively calm for [...]

How wet were the Plains?

October 7th, 2016|

Wetlands are are important for many reasons - they have cultural importance for Māori and for other groups, they support a diverse range of flora and fauna, they help to remove excess nutrients and sediments [...]

Aurora over Te Waihora

October 3rd, 2016|

Photographer and academic Ekant Veer captured some images of an amazing aurora over Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere on September 29, 2016.  See some time lapse photos of this dazzling display here.

2016 Waihora Ellesmere Trust AGM – all welcome!

August 18th, 2016|

We are holding our AGM on Monday September 19 at Lincoln Event Centre, 15 Meijer Drive, Lincoln- we'd love you join us! 6.30pm AGM 6.45pm WET Trust Meeting, including election of officers 7pm - welcome guests [...]

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.