Restoring Lake Hayes

We know how much you love Lake Hayes. 

The quality of it’s water affects recreation and business activities. 

We want to help people understand, connect with and work together to improve the lake’s water. 

There are two main issues we need to address:
(1) Short-term clean up (remediation) from past industry and farming practices
(2) Long-term care and management of the catchment to make sure our current activities aren't deteriorating water quality any further. 

Here we provide information on three different methods that could be useful to help clean up the lake. Each approach has different mechanisms, costs, side-effects and likelihoods of success that need to be considered.

Your opinion and understanding of how we restore the health of Lake Hayes is important to us.

Lake Hayes is a national treasure, known as one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. However, over the last 70 years this beautiful lake has suffered from a build-up of nutrients from human activity, including: historical fertiliser application, industry development, septic tank effluent, and the removal of wetlands and riparian plantings. As a result, Lake Hayes now suffers from periodic algal blooms caused by the build-up of the nutrient phosphorous in lakebed sediments.


Restoring the lake

ORC has identified two mechanisms to improve the quality of water at the lake.

  • To improve the quality of water that enters the lake.
  • To address the historic accumulation of nutrients in lake sediments.

This consultation focuses on the latter, whilst still acknowledging that improvements in land and waterway management in the upstream catchment are required if meaningful improvements to the water quality of Lake Hayes are to occur.


What is being done?

In July 2019, a state-of-the-art monitoring buoy was installed at the lake to provide data-related to both climate and weather, and also data-related to water quality, including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence, phycocyanin fluorescence, turbidity, pH and conductivity.

The information from this buoy will greatly improve our understanding of how Lake Hayes is responding to the environment in both the short- and long-term, so we can make informed decisions about remediation.

It was also announced in July 2019 that the Friends of Lake Hayes group is leading a project to identify where wetlands can be restored in the Lake Hayes catchment. The study is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and will be carried out by NIWA. It is being funded by grants from ORC, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Department of Conservation. We expect this work to improve the water quality that enters the lake, thus assisting in the natural restoration of Lake Hayes.


What’s next?

ORC has engaged GHC Consulting, who have prepared an intervention options overview report recommending some intervention options to address the historical build-up of nutrients in the lakebed that cause toxic algal blooms. Each option carries with it some risk (financial, timeline, effectiveness, visual and noise nuisance and consenting), and it is important you understand these risks before providing feedback.

Your feedback will be presented at Council for their consideration to inform the next steps in restoring the health of Lake Hayes.


Talk to the experts before submitting your feedback

We warmly invite you to come along to a community drop-in session where you can speak to a panel of experts including those from ORC, GHC Consulting (who prepared the report), as well as independent scientists to discuss the intervention options, their pros, cons and associated risks before letting us know your preferred options for restoring the health of Lake Hayes.

Drop-in sessions will take place at Lake Hayes Pavilion on the following dates and times:

Tuesday 13 August 2019

12.00pm to 1.30pm and 5.30pm to 7pm

and

Tuesday 3 September 2019

12.00pm to 1.30pm and 5.30pm to 7pm


How to have YourSay

Your feedback will be presented to ORC councillors to guide their decision-making.

You can submit your feedback from midnight 5 August 2019 to midnight 3 September 2019.


The technical methods

There are five technical methods to decide on. Click on the thumbnail for a more in-depth description of each technical method.


The intervention options

There are eight options we want you to decide between, and they are a combination of five technical methods. Please refer to the thumbnail above for more information on each method, or for a more in-depth description of each option please refer to the options overview report provided by GHC Consulting.


Your opinion and understanding of how we restore the health of Lake Hayes is important to us.

Lake Hayes is a national treasure, known as one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. However, over the last 70 years this beautiful lake has suffered from a build-up of nutrients from human activity, including: historical fertiliser application, industry development, septic tank effluent, and the removal of wetlands and riparian plantings. As a result, Lake Hayes now suffers from periodic algal blooms caused by the build-up of the nutrient phosphorous in lakebed sediments.


Restoring the lake

ORC has identified two mechanisms to improve the quality of water at the lake.

  • To improve the quality of water that enters the lake.
  • To address the historic accumulation of nutrients in lake sediments.

This consultation focuses on the latter, whilst still acknowledging that improvements in land and waterway management in the upstream catchment are required if meaningful improvements to the water quality of Lake Hayes are to occur.


What is being done?

In July 2019, a state-of-the-art monitoring buoy was installed at the lake to provide data-related to both climate and weather, and also data-related to water quality, including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence, phycocyanin fluorescence, turbidity, pH and conductivity.

The information from this buoy will greatly improve our understanding of how Lake Hayes is responding to the environment in both the short- and long-term, so we can make informed decisions about remediation.

It was also announced in July 2019 that the Friends of Lake Hayes group is leading a project to identify where wetlands can be restored in the Lake Hayes catchment. The study is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and will be carried out by NIWA. It is being funded by grants from ORC, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Department of Conservation. We expect this work to improve the water quality that enters the lake, thus assisting in the natural restoration of Lake Hayes.


What’s next?

ORC has engaged GHC Consulting, who have prepared an intervention options overview report recommending some intervention options to address the historical build-up of nutrients in the lakebed that cause toxic algal blooms. Each option carries with it some risk (financial, timeline, effectiveness, visual and noise nuisance and consenting), and it is important you understand these risks before providing feedback.

Your feedback will be presented at Council for their consideration to inform the next steps in restoring the health of Lake Hayes.


Talk to the experts before submitting your feedback

We warmly invite you to come along to a community drop-in session where you can speak to a panel of experts including those from ORC, GHC Consulting (who prepared the report), as well as independent scientists to discuss the intervention options, their pros, cons and associated risks before letting us know your preferred options for restoring the health of Lake Hayes.

Drop-in sessions will take place at Lake Hayes Pavilion on the following dates and times:

Tuesday 13 August 2019

12.00pm to 1.30pm and 5.30pm to 7pm

and

Tuesday 3 September 2019

12.00pm to 1.30pm and 5.30pm to 7pm


How to have YourSay

Your feedback will be presented to ORC councillors to guide their decision-making.

You can submit your feedback from midnight 5 August 2019 to midnight 3 September 2019.


The technical methods

There are five technical methods to decide on. Click on the thumbnail for a more in-depth description of each technical method.


The intervention options

There are eight options we want you to decide between, and they are a combination of five technical methods. Please refer to the thumbnail above for more information on each method, or for a more in-depth description of each option please refer to the options overview report provided by GHC Consulting.