Media release

ORC’s summer top ten to keep the environment safe

Monday 18 December 2023

The Otago Regional Council has released its summer Top 10 list of things people can do when travelling around Otago this summer - which will make a difference to the environment and keep their families and pets safe.

Council offices would close at 3pm Friday 22 December, however, ORC’s Pollution Hotline will continue to operate 24/7 over the holiday period.

The council’s water quality scientists would be out and about monitoring popular swimming spots and ORC’s harbourmaster team will be splitting their time between coastal Otago and Central Otago’s lakes and rivers to make sure everyone gets home safe after a day of fun.

ORC’S Chair Gretchen Robertson says over the festive season, we love nothing better than seeing everyone out and about enjoying Otago’s spectacular landscapes.

“To ensure epic outdoor adventures continue for all time, we’re keen for you to keep both yourself and the environment safe. Thanks for being great guardians and happy holidays,” she says.

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10 Wilding conifers are a serious pest issue. When you’re out and about hunting, hiking or just enjoying the outdoors, you can help by pulling out small wilding conifer seedlings.

9 Wait 48 hours before you swim after heavy or prolonged rain. Check the latest water quality monitoring results at LAWA here.

8 Check, clean and dry your boat, kayak, paddle board or jetski to stop the spread of aquatic pests.

7 Wash the car on the lawn and just use hot water and soap to stop harsh chemicals getting into our waterways.

6 If you see a wallaby, dead or alive, report it to – help stop the spread of this unwanted aussie import.

5 Be a responsible skipper and always follow the safer boating code – wear a lifejacket and say no to beersies.

4 Spot pollution? Call our 24/7 hotline 0800 800 033 and try to take a photo – it might be needed for evidence later.

3 Ban the clam! Be on the lookout for freshwater gold clam – a pest that may be trying to hitchhike its way down the country.



2 Top up your Bee Card and use public transport in 10 regions around New Zealand these holidays – even on the Queenstown ferry!

1 Keep your doggo safe – look out for toxic algal blooms, which occur when temperatures rise. Check our website for updates.