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Vision to create a walk and cycleway around Lake Horowhenua

Vision to create a walk and cycleway around Lake Horowhenua announced

The vision is set for a 12 kilometre walk and cycle way to be created around Lake Horowhenua, also known as Punahou.

Lake Horowhenua Trust chairperson Matt Sword says the idea of a walkway gathered force following a recent eight-hour hikoi around the Lake by a group of trustees and supporters, and that he has now called for a feasibility report to be completed.

“We want to take a tangible representation of the vision to the Lake’s beneficial owners, rather than just as idea, so that they can consider what this opportunity could mean for them and the Lake.”

Mr Sword says that the initiative has the support of all five signatory partners to the Lake Horowhenua Accord; including the Lake Horowhenua Trust representing the Muaūpoko beneficial owners, Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council, Horowhenua Lake Domain Board and the Department of Conservation.

“There is desire by the five partners to invigorate their collective energy, pool efforts and help the walk and cycleway vision become reality. This needs us all to embrace the opportunity.”

Mr Sword says the Lake Horowhenua Trust hopes to officially open the walk and cycleway on Saturday 4 August 2018, exactly five years after the Lake Horowhenua Accord was signed.

“The Accord is working well in its efforts to restore the health of our taonga Punahou and ensure its on-going protection as a natural asset which is loved, respected and cared for by our entire community now and for generations in the future,” he said.
“The walk and cycleway provides us with a great opportunity to share our stories about Punahou in the way that only Muaūpoko can tell it. We also get to explore the rich and proud history of Muaūpoko Iwi that shows how we as a people survived many challenges and threats while maintaining mana whenua over the Lake and the surrounding rohe.”

Mr Sword says the Lake Horowhenua Trust wants to put a solid and detailed proposal before the Muaūpoko beneficial owners.

“With a project such as this, the most difficult part is actually starting, but once that day occurs, I am in no doubt that the support for it will see it through, which will be fantastic. It is the Muaūpoko beneficial owners’ vision that the Lake, having been classed as one of the worst polluted Lakes in New Zealand, becomes a thriving, vibrant, healthy Lake celebrated as a gem in our part of the world.”

The Accord’s work to restore the environmental health of Lake Horowhenua includes a suite sub-projects and key interventions that are well underway. These aim to address toxic algal blooms by undertaking lake-weed harvesting, to address decades of sedimentation and reduce the amount of nutrients entering the Lake from rural and urban sources, to increase native fish populations by improving habitat and access to and from the Lake.

ENDS

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