The Plan

Whakaora Te Waihora first steps

It is expected that it will take at least two generations, or around 35 years, to restore and rejuvenate the mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. This is in addition to more than 10 years of restoration work already undertaken by Papatipu Rūnanga, landowners, agencies and others around the lake. The clean-up of the lake will only work if we all pitch in.



As announced by the Government in August 2011, $11.6 million is committed to clean up the lake made up of contributions of:
• $6.0 million from the Government
• $3.5 million from Environment Canterbury
• $1.2 million from Fonterra
• $500,000 from Ngāi Tahu
• The balance from Selwyn District Council, Waihora Ellesmere Trust and Lincoln University.
There is also a substantial commitment to the clean-up from local volunteers.

The Plan



The initial five-year programme for Whakaora Te Waihora comprises six key culturally and ecologically significant focus areas:
• Improving in-lake habitat
• Lake opening management
• Protecting lake shore habitat
• The sub-catchments of Kaituna, Halswell/Huritini and Waikekewai.
The key outcomes of the programme are to:
• Restore specific lowland tributary streams and riparian habitats
• Restore and enhance specific cultural sites and mahinga kai
• Improve catchment management practices
• Monitor and investigate to help promote adaptive management.



These smaller-scale focus areas will be monitored for effectiveness before they are extended across the Te Waihora catchment. The programme does not include any plan for purchasing land.
Both cultural and ecological knowledge will jointly inform and support the Whakaora Te Waihora programme. Only 20 years of formally recorded water quality and other data exists, so the programme will draw on more than 600 years of occupation of the area as another indicator of the health of Te Waihora.


Whakaora Te Waihora Joint Cultural and Ecological Restoration Plan

Whakaora Te Waihora is an extensive cultural and ecological restoration programme led by Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury. This Joint Cultural and Ecological Restoration Plan outlines the first steps: two to five years.

Joint Cultural Ecological Restoration Plan