Lake survey offers insights

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A survey by the Guardians of Lake Dunstan is providing insights on what issues are most important to people regarding the future of the lake.

Chairman Duncan Faulkner said the survey to date had received about 100 submissions.
Trends so far included freedom camping which people didn’t object to ‘‘but people want it controlled’’.

An example was the Lowburn freedom camping site ‘‘a premium spot that is being given away for free’’.
‘‘This is Crown land, so the Freedom Camping Act doesn’t apply to this land, and yet we are giving away a premium spot.’’

Another trend from the survey to date was comments that Lake Dunstan was under-utilised.
People saw the lake as a potential asset that could drive tourism and provide social benefits to residents yet ‘‘ever since it was built it has been neglected’’, Mr Faulkner said.
The foreshore was covered in weeds, beaches were covered in driftwood and rubbish was piling up in some areas.

Another issue highlighted so far in the survey was having a separate area for swimmers and non-motorised boats, ‘‘without the fear of being run over’’ by motorised craft.
‘‘People are wanting more, they are wanting better.
‘‘The town has grown to a point whereby people are demanding that we start to have something we can be proud of.’’

Some suggestions included a dedicated swimming area with diving boards, and ladders attached to the jetty so people jumping off could get back up.
‘‘No-one considers Cromwell a lake town, and the reason is because we’ve neglected it and haven’t promoted it.’’

Mr Faulkner said although the lake was filled about 30 years ago, in some respects it was still an ‘‘unfinished project’’.
A report from 1987 prepared for

the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand by the Ministry of Works and Development and Canadian geography authority Dr Reiner Jaakson emphasised the need to plan and manage recreational uses of the Upper Clutha hydro lakes, but not all of the recommendations had been followed, Mr Faulkner said.

To contribute to the Guardians of Lake Dunstan survey visit www.lakedunstan.org/feedback
The survey runs till the end of the summer.