Back in 2005, a Judge, the media, and politicians had a lot to say about Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
Judge Smith (Lynton Dairy Ltd v. The Canterbury Regional Council, Environment Court C108/2005: at paragraph 101) stated:
–“Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) was a significant shock to the Court. The lake is eutrophic, green in colour and seems to be devoid of any riparian management. For example, stock seem to have free access to the water, the margins appear to be subject to chemical spraying regimes and lake levels manipulated for farming rather than the natural values. The lake water is in a serious ecological condition and is in urgent need of attention. Riparian management is required as an absolute minimum.”
Media refined the Judge’s statement to “… the heavily degraded lake was declared technically dead this year after Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith found it was in a serious ecological condition and virtually unable to sustain animal life”.
Jeanette Fitzsimons, the Green Party Co-leader, used the phrase “Lake Ellesmere is biologically dead” in the Address in Reply Debate in Parliament, 15th November 2005 (Source: http://www.waternz.co.nz/archives/2005_09_01_nzwaternews_archive.html Accessed 24 October 2007)
So we responded to these concerns. Waihora Ellesmere Trust, with the support of multiple partners, decided to assess ‘how dead the lake was’ and the Living Lake symposia were the result. Each symposium has had a slightly different focus. In all, five very successful symposia have now been held – visit the page for each event to view the presentations and other associated information.