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New Grovetown Lagoon Management Plan A Step Closer

A new reserve management plan for the Grovetown Lagoon is one step closer with work due to begin on the draft.

Thirty-seven submissions were received during a recent public submission process about the management plan proposal.

Grovetown Lagoon, an old meander channel of the Wairau River, has become a popular area for walking, biking, picnicking, kayaking, food gathering and bird watching. It includes a mix of Council-owned reserve, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) land and DOC reserve. Te Whanau Hou Grovetown Lagoon Society Inc. was established in 2005 to manage its protection and restoration.

A new reserve management plan is seen as a way to continue the great work to date to protect this treasured place, largely by volunteers. Society administrator Justine Johnson is overseeing the community engagement process.

“It was really heartening to read the submissions and to see the support for the project. People were very positive about how they enjoy the Lagoon,” Justine said. “People enjoy sitting, walking, dog walking, cycling, kayaking, canoeing and fitness or exercising at the Lagoon. Users also appreciate the dog-friendly walking area, the native bird life and its handy location,” she said.

An issue that came through strongly, resulting in both supporting and opposing submissions, is game bird hunting at the Lagoon. Twenty-five submissions mentioned duck shooting and ten of them supported hunting at the lagoon. The main concern around duck shooting is public safety.

There were other concerns noted in submissions and these included:

  • Whether dogs should be allowed off-leash
  • Whether bikes should be allowed
  • Ongoing funding security
  • Whether volunteers will be able to continue to find the money and time to administer the Lagoon

To read the submissions in full, go to: https://bit.ly/3d3d5V3

Council Parks and Open Spaces Planner Linda Craighead said work would begin soon on drafting the plan.

“The new plan will provide the policy guidance the Society needs to make decisions about the future management of this special area,” she said. “There will be wide consultation with iwi, community groups, stakeholders and this will likely involve a community meeting.”

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