Media release

Have your say in Queenstown and Wanaka on caring for your waterways

Monday 8 November 2021

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is visiting Queenstown and Wānaka to hear from the community about how land and water in the Upper Lakes rohe should be managed.

Over the next two years, ORC is working with Iwi and communities to develop a new Land and Water Regional Plan so that Otago’s waterways can be healthy and safe, from the mountains to the sea (ki uta ki tai).

Next week, ORC staff and councillors will visit the communities of Queenstown and Wānaka to seek local knowledge and views on waterways.

The new plan will set clear environmental outcomes and rules and limits on resource use. The plan will be further refined through plan changes over time, including adding provisions related to topics such as groundwater limits, wetlands protection and high-risk land uses. It will include a range of activities that are permitted, and a range of activities that will require resource consent from ORC.

Dunstan Ward Councillor Gary Kelliher said community input into the plan would be vital.

“We know the community is concerned about preserving water quality in the Upper Lakes, and we want a Land and Water Regional Plan that addresses these concerns to ensure waterways stay healthy for future generations to enjoy. The community’s goals and preferences for local waterways, combined with the science ORC has collected and input from iwi, will guide how ORC proposes to manage land and freshwater in the Upper Lakes rohe.”

The Upper Lakes rohe (area) covers the lakes of Wakatipu, Wānaka and Hāwea, from their tributaries to their outlets, including the Hāwea River. Catchments include the Greenstone, Dart, and Rees Rivers, the Makarora and Matukituki, and Hunter Rivers, along with smaller tributaries to the lakes, including Bullock Creek, Minaret Burn, Timaru River, and the Von and Locky Rivers.

Cr Kelliher said he hoped people from all around the area would come along and share what they want for their environment.

“The public – from Kingston to Hāwea to Makarora – are invited to hear Iwi and staff presentations from 12:30-2pm and 7-8:30pm during the public meetings, and to give their feedback in discussion groups. People are also welcome to drop-in to talk to ORC staff and councillors outside of the presentations, starting from 11am. After the meetings, the public can visit our website to have their say online.

“Whether you’re an angler, a swimmer, a farmer, a food gatherer, or you just love our waterways, come and tell ORC what you think should be in the Upper Lakes section of Otago’s new Land and Water Regional Plan,” Cr Kelliher said.

The webpage to have your say is at


Meeting details:

17 November: Queenstown Events Centre, Joe O’Connell Drive, Frankton. Drop in from 11am, join us for community meetings and discussion at 12:30-2pm or 7-8:30pm.

18 November: Lake Wānaka Centre, 89 Ardmore Street, Wānaka. Drop in from 11am, join us for community meetings and discussion at 12:30-2pm or 7-8:30pm.


Bob's Cove near Queenstown.