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Published: 2007-10-19 00:00:00

Waikato people interested in improving water quality in their local lakes are invited to a community information day in Huntly on 1 November.

“Many Waikato lakes are in a poor ecological condition,” Environment Waikato sustainable agriculture coordinator Bala Tikkisetty said.

“Nutrient enrichment is the main problem. It increases the likelihood of smelly, unpleasant algal blooms, causes water quality to deteriorate and degrades plant and animal habitats. This is a particular problem in our peat lakes, which are home to rare and threatened native species specially adapted to living in unique water and soil conditions.

“But armed with the right knowledge, local people can really make a difference to the health of these important water bodies.”

The information day, “What’s happening with Waikato lakes?”, will be held at the Huntly Civic Centre, kicking off at noon.

Waikato Federated Farmers president and newly elected Environment Waikato councillor Peter Buckley, who has been involved with wetland restoration on his Te Kauwhata farm, will deliver the keynote address.

The afternoon will be broken up into three sessions covering:

  • issues affecting the lakes, including farming impacts and koi carp infestation
  • lake management, exploring community initiatives and freshwater mussel research
  • management perspectives from Tainui, Environment Waikato and Waikato District Council.

The information day is expected to finish at 3.30pm and afternoon tea will be provided.

Numbers are limited, so those interested are asked to call Bala Tikkisetty, phone (07) 859 0543 or email bala.tikkisetty@ew.govt.nz, or Aareka Hopkins, phone (07) 846 1249 or email aareka@am2.co.nz, before October 26. Anyone living in the Waikato region is welcome to attend.

The information day is supported by Environment Waikato, AM2 & Associates, Waikato District Council, the New Zealand Landcare Trust, The University of Waikato, the Department of Conservation, NIWA, CBER and the Tainui Raupatu Lands Trust.