This plan has been written to consolidate the planning directions for recreational activities and facilities in Ō Tū Wharekai (the Ashburton Lakes and upper Rangitata River.)
Ō Tū Wharekai is one of three wetlands around the country managed as part of the national Arawai Kākāriki wetland programme. Arawai Kākāriki aims to restore wetlands with the assistance of the community and learn more about methods for wetland restoration along the way.
As well as containing high wetland and other biodiversity values, Ō Tū Wharekai is highly valued for its recreational opportunities.
How the plan developed
The Department of Conservation analysed the recreational opportunities available within Ō Tū Wharekai, gathering information from existing survey work, collecting local knowledge, holding public meetings, and referring to other written information. The analysis looked at the actual and potential opportunities and assessed the potential impacts each opportunity would have on the values of Ō Tū Wharekai and the experiences of other visitors. These potential impacts were then assessed to see whether or not any could be reduced or removed. Analysis identified a number of recreational opportunities to consider and included them in a discussion document.
A discussion document was developed in 2009 outlining actual and potential recreation opportunities throughout Ō Tū Wharekai, the suitability of those opportunities at different locations within Ō Tū Wharekai, and potential management options. This focused primarily on recreation opportunities on public conservation land, although opportunities on other types of land were also included where such opportunities were publicly accessible and information about them was available.
Individuals and groups contributed constructive comment on the discussion document. The Department then used the document and the comments received to make decisions about the provision of recreation opportunities and facilities in Ō Tū Wharekai. These decisions are outlined in the recreation plan.
About the plan
The recreation plan is a non-statutory document, although the information within it will guide outcomes and policies for inclusion in the Canterbury Conservation Management Strategy (CMS), currently being reviewed.
The purpose of the plan
- To give clear direction on recreation activities being managed in different parts of Ō Tū Wharekai.
- To inform recreation facility management and development in Ō Tū Wharekai in the short (1 to 3) and medium term (4 to 9 years) through the incorporation of these directions into business planning processes. Reconsideration of these directions will be needed in the medium to long term (10 years plus) or as required.
- To inform recreation facility management and development in the medium to long term by guiding the development of statutory policies for the Ō Tū Wharekai place section of the Canterbury CMS, currently under review.
- To communicate intended management directions for Ō Tū Wharekai to the public and interested groups.
- To aid decisions on concession applications.
Future additions to public conservation land
Public input will be sought to help determine recreational provision when new public conservation land is added to Ō Tū Wharekai through the tenure review process.