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Threat to iconic Lake Wakatipu - councillor lays blame



Otago regional councillor Michael Laws said that the now admitted threat of the invasive weed pest lagarosiphon to Otago’s iconic alpine Lake Wakatipu “is further proof of the ongoing negligence of LINZ and the Otago Regional Council.”

“ Leaving these two organisations in charge of dealing with the lagarosiphon menace is like leaving an addict in charge of a chemist shop. It’s been their ongoing neglect and negligence – over decades - that has allowed this invasive weed to infect and infest Otago’s lakes and waterways.

“ Their combined inactivity, and refusal to accept responsibility, is nothing short of institutional neglect.”

Cr Laws said that each year the lagarosiphon invasion has got worse and more obvious and more pronounced.

“ The response of the responsible authorities has been pathetic – a little bit of poison sprayed over recreational areas in the spring. Nothing to attack the root causes nor the spread of the weed. The current lake management plan is just a joke – the kind of tinkering beloved of bureaucrats when they don’t really want to do anything.”

Cr Laws said that the spread to the iconic Lake Wakatipu was “as inevitable as it will be tragic. And then the surrender attitude of LINZ and the ORC will really come to the fore, as it has with Lake Dunstan.”

“ I’m very angry that Central Otago groups have been warning government and local government for decades – and been routinely shut down as busy body hysterics. But now this invasive weed will take a multi-million dollar budget to combat, when some preventive thinking and action could have done the job.”

© Scoop Media

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