Testing the water at Te Waihora

Christchurch Boys High Students and Lincoln University Waterwatch taking samples.

Christchurch Boys High School Students and Lincoln University Waterwatch taking samples at Te Waihora.

The year 12 agribusiness class at Christchurch Boys High School (CBHS) is using Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora as a case study to analyse the impact man has played on the local ecosystem.

Derek McLauchlan, Head of Commerce at CBHS says “we choose to investigate Te Waihora because the Whakaora Te Waihora joint partnership provided a great basis for students to justify possible solutions to water quality issues”.

As part of the paper a group of students from CBHS ventured from the classroom to the lakefront to test water samples and assess water quality at Te Waihora.

“The boys will identify the consequences of mans’ actions on economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability of the lake”, says Derek.

Christchurch Boys High School Students and Lincoln University Waterwatch conducting experiments

Christchurch Boys High School Students and Lincoln University Waterwatch conducting experiments  at Te Waihora.

“While at the lake the students looked at pH, levels of nitrate, phosphate, oxygen saturation and turbidity. They also collected invertebrates and other animal life to identify Indicator specifies such as mayfly to see the impact water quality is having on the ecosystem,” says Derek.

“The Lincoln University Waterwatch team who facilitated the trip were great at helping the boys to conduct experiments and collect samples. As well as teaching them about the lake’s ecosystem and about water quality,” says Derek.

Derek said David Perenara-O’Connell, Project Manager – Ngāi Tahu Relationships, at Environment Canterbury, “is coming to speak to the students about the important role Te Waihora plays as a tribal taonga for Ngāi Tahu. His session will look at the history of Te Waihora and its significance as a mahinga kai site.”

“CBHS choose to do agribusiness because the sector is demanding students with both science and commercial knowledge so doing a course like this is great for the kids,” says Derek.

The students will be expected to write a report that looks to identify possible solutions to enhance the water quality at Te Waihora.

“Because of the joint partnership and plans that have been developed at Te Waihora the students have a framework they can use to justify the solutions to water quality issues they identify,” says Derek.