Media release

Wanaka events to showcase Southern Lakes research

Thursday 23 March 2017

Southern Lakes district residents will soon have an opportunity to learn more about their lakes and the people that use them, with two unique events planned for Queenstown and Wanaka between March 31 and April 2.

The University of Otago’s new multidisciplinary research group, Catchments Otago and the Otago Regional Council (ORC) have joined forces to put together the two events.

“While both Catchments Otago and ORC undertake research and monitoring on the lakes, we see the benefit of working together to raise awareness about what happens there, and explore the different values the community has about them,” ORC director of stakeholder engagement Caroline Rowe said.

Catchments Otago is based on a research theme, and brings together researchers from across the university to help develop land and water management strategies to address some of the challenges the region currently faces, as well as those that might arise in future.

Catchments Otago co-director and University of Otago Professor of Zoology Philip Seddon said the events in Wanaka were important for people because “water flows through everything; the health of the water is the health of our lives - our lakes matter and must be cared for.”

He encouraged people to go along to share their views on what the lakes should look like.

The first event is a PechaKucha Night, to be held at Queenstown Primary School hall on Friday 31 March, starting at 8pm.

PechaKucha is the art of concise presentations, where presenters have 20 slides and only 20 seconds to speak about each slide in a unique format with the theme “The Lakes and I.” A range of local speakers will talk about their about their connection to the lakes.

The second event ‘Lab at the Lake’ will be held two days later in Wanaka, on Sunday 2 April.

This free event, open from 10am-1pm, is a family fun day featuring the University of Otago/Otago Museum Lab-in-a-Box, the mobile science laboratory in a shipping container.

With hands-on fish, invertebrate, and algae displays, everyone can get up close with life from the lake and its surrounding catchment. There will also be displays about what happens with the lakes, from both ORC and Catchments Otago perspectives.

Details of the PechaKucha Night can be found on ( and details for both events can be found on the Catchments Otago and ORC Facebook pages: @catchmentsotago and @OtagoRegionalCouncil.

For more information contact

Caroline Rowe
Director Stakeholder Engagement
Otago Regional Council
Ph 0800 474082

Kath Dickinson
Catchments Otago director
University of Otago
Ph 03 4799059

ORC communications contact

Mark Peart
Team Leader Communications – Channels
Ph 0800 474082 or 027 5312620