A few minutes of weeding the waterfront could make Lake Wanaka more enjoyable for all, a local resident says.
Mike Botting, of Wanaka, is suggesting people enjoying the lake take a moment to remove a few weeds before settling in to their favourite spot on the shore.
The weeds attracted rubbish ‘‘and unfortunately dogs do their business in them’’.
Once they were established they could be harder to remove in the future, Mr Botting said.
The main weed was lupin, which could grow to 1.5m high.
‘‘They can start to really take up the space on the beach.’’
Lupin was not a native species and was a fast-growing, invasive weed.
‘‘The longer it is left, you come back and it will be twice as bad the next year.’’
The weeds were very easy to pull out , Mr Botting said.
‘‘Just the other night when I was down here with my family, I started pulling some out and they came out really easily, and I thought ‘Well, maybe we could get the public when they are down here to take five and pull some out’.’’
Mr Botting supported council efforts to stay on top of weeds but appreciated it had many sites to maintain and suggested a simple effort by visitors to the lakeshore could help prevent the weeds getting out of control.
By taking a moment to clear a small patch of weeds, it could make the beach nicer for everyone.
Mr Botting said he thought the amount of weeds on the lakefront had increased over the past few years.
Mr Botting contacted the Central Otago District Council about the weeds in October 2019 and had been in touch recently, asking what the council was doing long term to manage them.
‘‘I’m keen to avoid using weed spray, especially at this time of year [when] there are young families and kids down here.’’
That was why he thought manual removal was a better option, and if everyone did a little bit it was not a big task.
Mr Botting suggested placing the weeds further up the bank, under trees, where they could be easily collected.
‘‘While you are down here and you set up your picnic blanket, why don’t you just clear an area around you?’’
Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman Jack Barlow said while it was important to note most of the land in question belonged to Land Information New Zealand, the council supported people weeding the waterfront and was looking into what could be done to help.