​Proposed new rules and regulations for the Upper Lakes Rohe

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Environmental outcomes

Target attribute states

FMU provisions

Environmental flows and levels and limits on take, diversion and damming of water

Lakes

River catchments

Aquifers

Outstanding water bodies

Economic profile and snapshot

 

 

This summary provides an overview of the provisions relating to the Upper Lakes Rohe (area) within the Clutha / Mata-Au Freshwater Management Unit (FMU). This includes environmental outcomes, target attribute states and area-specific rules and limits. The rules and limits are in addition to those in the region-wide rules covered in the other summaries.

If you are unsure of any particular terms, there is a ​​glossary of terms.

Recent content updates:

  • 13 October 2023:
    • Added proposed environmental flows, level and take limits for lakes, rivers and aquifers in the Upper lakes rohe and added information regarding whether further allocation of water is available.
  • 25 September 2023:
    • Added Upper Lakes Rohe boundary map
  • 24 September 2023:
    • Added timeframe for achieving the environmental outcomes for target attribute states

A map of the Upper Lakes Rohe boundary is shown below.

Upper Lakes Rohe map.

 

Environmental outcomes

In its new Land and Water Regional Plan ORC must set environmental outcomes for the freshwater values identified in the Upper Lakes rohe. An environmental outcome statement describes the desired future state that communities in the Upper Lakes rohe and tangata whenua would like to see for a specific value.  

The environmental outcome statements are very similar across all FMUs and rohe in Otago, which reflects the fact that the aspirations that tangata whenua and the different communities have for the environment are largely consistent across the region. Table 1 sets out the draft environmental outcomes for the Upper Lakes Rohe.

Table 1: Draft environmental outcomes

Value 

Environmental Outcome for Upper Lakes rohe 

Attributes to measure and monitor  

NPS-FM compulsory values (apply to every FMU/rohe) 

Ecosystem health  

Freshwater bodies support healthy freshwater ecosystems with thriving habitats for a range of indigenous species, and the life stages of those species, that would be expected to occur naturally.    

Rivers: 

Ammonia 

Nitrate 

Suspended fine sediment 

E. Coli 

Dissolved reactive phosphorus 

Periphyton 

Macroinvertebrates (MCI/ASPM) 

Fish IBI  

E. Coli primary contact sites 

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score*1 

Deposited fine sediment*

Dissolved oxygen 

Ecosystem metabolism 

Lakes:  

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Total nitrogen 

Total phosphorus 

Ammonia 

Cyanobacteria*

Submerged plants (natives)*

Submerged plants (invasive)* 

Lake-bottom dissolved oxygen* 

Mid-hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen* 

Human contact 

Water bodies are clean and safe for human contact activities and support the health of people and their connections with water bodies. 

Rivers: 

E. Coli 

Suspended fine sediment  

Periphyton 

E. Coli primary contact sites 

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria (Biovolume cubic millimetres per litre) 

Threatened species  

The freshwater habitats of threatened species are protected and support the persistence and recovery of threatened species over time. 

All the attributes listed for Ecosystem Health above.

 

Recency of presence 

National conservation category and status 

Regional conservation category and status 

Number of sub-populations 

Mahika kai (food and resource gathering) 

Mahika kai resources are restored to a condition in which populations of valued mahika kai species are self-sustaining and plentiful enough to support cultural take. 

Mana whenua are able to safely access, harvest and use these resources now and in the future. 

All the attributes listed for Ecosystem Health above. 

Other values (apply to every FMU/rohe) 

 

Natural form and character 

Freshwater bodies and their riparian margins, and any connected receiving environment including any estuaries and hāpua (lagoon) are able to behave in a way that reflects their natural form and character to the greatest extent practicable, and the natural form and function of unmodified water bodies is protected. 

Rivers: 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score* 

Deposited fine sediment*

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria*

Submerged plants (natives)*

Submerged plants (invasive)* 

Lake-bottom dissolved oxygen* 

Mid-hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen* 

Drinking water supply 

Provided the health and wellbeing needs of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems are met, source water from water bodies (after treatment) is safe and reliable for the drinking water supply needs of the community. 

Activities do not introduce or increase the concentration of contaminants in water, so that, after existing treatment, it no longer meets drinking water standards 

 

Wāhi tūpuna (sites of significance to iwi) 

Cultural associations with wāhi tūpuna are maintained, visible, and whānau are able to access, use and relate to wāhi tūpuna now and in the future. 

Information available soon.

Fishing 

Fish are safe to eat; and  

Insofar as it is consistent with the protection of indigenous and threatened species, the spawning and juvenile rearing waters for trout and salmon are provided for. 

Rivers: 

E. Coli 

Suspended fine sediment  

Periphyton 

Nitrate 

Suspended fine sediment 

Macroinvertebrates (MCI/ASPM) 

Fish IBI  

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score* 

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria (Biovolume cubic millimetres per litre)*

Irrigation, cultivation and production of food and beverages 

Provided the health and wellbeing of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems and human health needs are met, the cultivation and production of food, beverages and fibre is enabled. 

Rivers: 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

Water quantity 

Wetlands 

Wetlands are protected, and their ecosystem health, indigenous biodiversity, and hydrological functioning is restored where degraded. 

Information available soon.

 

Taoka species (treasured species) 

Thriving, connected habitats for indigenous species are restored and sustained for ever and their mauri is intact. 

Information available soon.

 

Values that apply to specific FMU 

 

Hydro-electric power generation  

Existing hydro-electric generation activities are developed, operated, maintained and upgraded in a way that meets the environmental outcomes to the greatest extent practicable.  

 

¹*Asterisk indicates that the baseline state of these compulsory attributes is not known, but monitoring is now being undertaken.

 

Target attribute states

Attributes are indicators that we can measure and monitor. Attributes tell us about the state of a river or lake. A target attribute state (TAS) is the state that an attribute must achieve to make sure that an environmental outcome is met. The timeframe for achieving the TAS for each FMU is set by the environmental outcomes for the FMU.  For the Upper Lakes rohe, the environmental outcomes are to be achieved by 2030. By monitoring attributes and comparing their baseline state with their TAS we learn how well how well we are on track towards achieving the environmental outcomes for this FMU or rohe. 

While the environmental outcome statements are largely consistent across Otago, baseline states and TAS are usually specific to each FMU and rohe. Attributes for each value and baseline states for those attributes have been identified along with trends derived from the Otago Regional Council's State of the Environment (SoE) monitoring data. 

The baseline state and TAS for the Upper Lakes rohe are in the map below.

Zoom into an area and view the various locations of proposed monitoring sites in an area(s).

Select the yellow dot representing a proposed monitoring site to see the Target Attribute States.

You can further select the Target Attribute States table to view a larger version of the table.

(Note: If you are on a mobile device, tap on the arrow next to the 'X' icon for the table to show.)

 

FMU provisions

National direction requires Council to set limits as rules or action plans (as appropriate) to achieve the environmental outcomes. This can be done at a region-wide level or at FMU/rohe level. The draft region-wide rules are set out in different briefing papers, including the briefing papers Primary Production, Wastewater, Stormwater, Earthworks, Water Quantity and various others.

For the Upper Lakes rohe, there are no additional rules needed to make sure the environmental outcomes for this rohe are achieved.

 

Environmental flows and levels and limits on take, diversion and damming of water

The Upper Lakes Rohe chapter will also include take limits and environmental flows and levels for rivers, lakes and aquifers in this rohe.  

Take limits reflect the total quantity of water that can be taken, dammed or diverted from a stream, river, lake or aquifer. Once the combined rate of take for all consented water takes, diversion or damming activities from a water body matches this take limit no further water can be allocated in new consents.  

Environmental flows (for rivers or streams) or environmental levels (for lakes and aquifers) include minimum flows or levels that when reached all consented (and some permitted) takes, diversions and damming activities must cease. These restrictions on water taking, diversions or damming activities typically occur during dry periods and are needed to make sure after important values, such as threatened fish, drinking water supply or mahika kai (food and resource gathering) values, are looked after. 

 

Lakes

Environmental levels and take limits for the lakes in the Upper Lakes Rohe are shown in the table below. 

Given their high naturalness values, it is proposed that a narrative take limit is set for most of the natural lakes in this rohe. This limit will prohibit any new takes, damming or diversions that could impact water levels of these natural lakes (except for takes that are permitted under the Resource Management Act 1991) and will ensure they will continue to behave in their natural or near natural state. Specific take limits and levels are proposed for Lake Wānaka and Lake Whakatipu. These limits will allow for more water to be allocated from Lake Wānaka and Lake Whakatipu and their tributaries, recognising that these water bodies are located near fast-growing urban settlements. However, the proposed take limits are small enough to avoid any changes to the lakes’ hydrology and specific minimum levels are proposed for both lakes to restrict water takes when lake levels are low.  

Lake Hawea will continue to be managed in accordance with its consented lake level conditions. Any takes from this lake will be subject to the take limits that apply to the Clutha River/Mata-Au take limit. 

Table 2: Environmental levels and take limits for lakes

Name

Environmental level(s)

Take limit

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Natural lakes (unmodified)

Alta Tarn,

Arethusa Pool (associated with Mou Waho)

Crucible Lake  

Diamond Lake, Glenorchy 

Diamond Lake, Wanaka 

Glenorchy Lagoon 

Lake Castalia 

Lake Diana 

Lake Harris/ Te Hokaputu 

Lake Hope 

Lake Isobel 

Lake McKellar/Ōtākaha 

Lake Mystery 

Lake Ned 

Lake Nerine 

Lake Nigel 

Lake Reid 

Lake Rere 

Lake Sylvan 

Lake Unknown 

Lake Wilson 

Lindsays Tarn 

Lucidius Lake 

Three Lagoons 

Natural minimum water level

Narrative- no new taking, diversions, damming or discharges from the lake or upper catchment

No

Natural lakes (with current consents)

Lake Dispute

(Lake Dispute river catchment)

 

Lake level managed by the minimum flow of the Lake Dispute river catchment

 

Narrative - no new taking, diversions, damming or discharges from the lake or upper catchment.

 

Existing takes subject to the take limit of the river catchment that the lake is located within

No

Natural lakes (with environmental levels and take limits)

Lake Wānaka 

276.14 m based on the Dunedin datum  (mean annual low lake level)

3,000 L/s

Yes

Lake Whakatipu 

309.54 m based on the Dunedin datum  (mean annual low lake level)

3,000 L/s

Yes

Controlled lakes

Lake Hāwea 

Consented levels

Subject to the Clutha River/Mata-Au take limit (TBC)

Yes

 

 

River catchments

Environmental flows and take limits for the Upper Lakes rohe’s rivers and streams are shown in the table below.  Take limits and environmental flows are often set as a percentage of the 7-day Mean Annual Low Flow (7-day MALF).  The 7-day MALF is a flow statistic that provides an indication of how low the flow gets in a typical year. 

For smaller rivers or streams with a mean flow of 5,000 litres per second or less, such as the Kidds Creek and Quartz Creek, a total take limit is set as 20% of the 7-day MALF. For larger rivers with a mean flow of more than 5,000 litres per second, such as the Matukituki River and the Rees River, a larger take limit is set at 30% of the 7-day MALF.  

Restrictions on water takes, diversions and damming activities in catchments of smaller rivers or streams are triggered when flows are at 90% of the 7-day MALF, whereas for larger rivers these restrictions will not kick in until flows are at 80% of the 7-day MALF.   

Bespoke limits and environmental flows are proposed for Bullock creek.  

Table 3 provides estimates of the actual minimum flows and take limits for different catchments based on the default method using the best available information to determine the 7-day MALF of each catchment. The numeric minimum flows and take limits will not be included in the LWRP. Instead, the LWRP will refer to the relevant % of 7-day MALF.

Table 3: Rivers managed by default minimum flows and take limits

Name

Environmental flow (l/s)

Take limit (l/s)

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

River catchments with a mean flow ≤ 5,000 l/s and managed by default limits

·         Minimum flow set as 90% of 7-day MALF

·         Take limit set as 20% of 7-day MALF

Afton Burn

899

200

Yes

Albert Burn (2)

126

28

Yes

Bay Burn

177

39

Yes

Bee Burn

103

23

Yes

Beethams Creek

113

25

Yes

Bells Creek

750

167

Yes

Black Gorge Creek

1017

226

Yes

Bobs Cove Creek (1)

269

60

Yes

Bobs Cove Creek (2)

300

67

Yes

Boundary Creek (1)

422

94

Yes

Boundary Creek (2)

187

42

Yes

Bricks Gully Creek

187

42

Yes

Buckler Burn

1012

225

Yes

Collins Creek

811

180

Yes

Craigie Burn

325

72

Yes

Dinner Creek

102

23

Yes

Dooleys Creek

103

23

Yes

East Wanaka Creek

261

58

Yes

Eight Mile Creek

159

35

Yes

Estuary Burn

860

191

Yes

Fast Burn

680

151

Yes

Fern Burn

794

177

Yes

Five Mile Creek (2)

315

70

Yes

Frankton Arm Creek (1)

189

42

Yes

Frankton Arm Creek (2)

259

58

Yes

Geordies Creek

130

29

Yes

Georges Creek (E)

361

80

Yes

Georges Creek (W)

171

38

Yes

Grindstone Creek

49

11

Yes

Halls Creek

114

25

Yes

High Burn

183

41

Yes

Horn Creek

809

180

Yes

Kidds Creek

114

25

Yes

Lake Dispute

417

93

Yes

Lake Face Creek

113

25

Yes

Little Hopwood Burn

828

184

Yes

Little Stony Creek

112

25

Yes

Lumberbox Creek

123

27

Yes

Marshall Creek

204

45

Yes

McGregor Creek

130

29

Yes

McKinlays Creek

952

211

Yes

Mick Creek

198

44

Yes

Mill Creek

199

44

Yes

Minaret Burn

4179

1567

Yes

Mount Burke Creek

776

172

Yes

One Mile Creek

218

48

Yes

Pink Gate Creek

43

10

Yes

Quartz Creek

739

164

Yes

Rocky Point Creek

129

29

Yes

Rods Creek

159

35

Yes

Rough Burn

749

166

Yes

Roys Peak Creek

94

21

Yes

Rumbling Burn

810

180

Yes

Sawyer Burn

144

32

Yes

Seven Mile Creek

159

35

Yes

Sheepskin Creek (2)

245

54

Yes

Shepherds Hut Creek

103

23

Yes

Silver Burn

109

24

Yes

Staircase Creek

1120

249

Yes

Station Creek

138

31

Yes

Stony Burn

114

25

Yes

Stony Creek (1)

276

61

Yes

Terrace Creek

707

157

Yes

The Neck Creek

119

26

Yes

Twelve Mile Creek

899

200

Yes

Twenty Five Mile Creek

118

26

Yes

Twenty Four Mile Creek

842

187

Yes

Waterfall Creek (1)

316

70

Yes

Waterfall Creek (2)

180

40

Yes

Wharf Creek

88

20

Yes

Whiskey Gully Creek

144

32

Yes

Wye Creek

273

61

Yes

Yards Gully Creek

187

42

Yes

River catchments with a mean flow > 5,000 l/s and managed by default limits

·         Minimum flow set as 80% of 7-day MALF

·         Take limit set as 30% of 7-day MALF

Big Hopwood Burn

6564

2461

Yes

Dart River

13523

5071

Yes

Dingle Burn

7946

2980

Yes

Greenstone River

10453

3920

Yes

Hunter River

10635

3988

Yes

Lochy River

5339

2002

Yes

Makarora River

13521

5070

Yes

Matukituki River

6460

2422

Yes

Minaret Burn

4179

1567

Yes

Rees River

8510

3191

Yes

Timaru River

4832

1812

Yes

Von River

1008

378

Yes

Whiskey Gully Creek

144

32

Yes

Wye Creek

273

61

Yes

Yards Gully Creek

187

42

Yes

 

Table 4: Rivers managed by bespoke minimum flows and take limits

Name

Environmental flow (l/s)

Take limit (l/s)

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Bullock Creek

400

20

TBC

 

Aquifers

Environmental levels and take limits for aquifers in the Upper Lakes rohe are shown in the table below.  

Take limits are set based on either as a proportion of the mean annual recharge of that aquifer or where the aquifer is closely connected to a river or stream, the take limit and minimum flow of the rivers or stream. For the Glenorchy and Kington Aquifers a take limit is set as 35% of these aquifers’ mean annual recharge, while any taking of water from the Rees-Dart or Matukituki Alluvial Ribbon Aquifers will be subject to the take limits and minimum flows set for these Rees-Dart and Matukituki rivers. 

Table 5 provides an estimate of the actual takes limit for the aquifer based on the default method using the best available information to determine the aquifer’s Mean Annual Recharge (MAR). The numeric take limit will not be included in the LWRP. Instead, the LWRP will refer to the relevant % of the MAR.

Table 5: Aquifers managed by default take limits

Name

Environmental level(s)

Take limit (volume in m3/year)

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Aquifers managed by default limits

·         Take limit: 35% Mean Annual Recharge

Glenorchy 

 

Not required to be included in the new LWRP at this time

1,316,243

Yes

Kingston 

378,586

Yes


For aquifers with a close hydraulic connection to a river or stream, such as the Rees-Dart and Matukituki alluvial aquifers, any water takes will be subject to the take limits and environmental flows set for these rivers.

Table 6 provides an overview of the environmental levels and take limits that apply to these aquifers.

Table 6: Alluvial Ribbon Aquifers

Name

Environmental level(s)

Take limit

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Alluvial Ribbon Aquifers

 

Rees-Dart

 

Subject minimum flow for Dart River catchment

Subject to take limit for Dart River catchment

Yes

Matukituki

 

Subject minimum flow for Matukituki River catchment

Subject to take limit for Matukituki River catchment

Yes

 

Outstanding water bodies

Outstanding water bodies are water bodies that have one or more outstanding values. National direction requires the Otago Regional Council to identify outstanding water bodies and protect their important values. The table below lists the outstanding water bodies in this rohe and describes their outstanding values.

Below is a map featuring all the water bodies in Otago.

You can zoom in and view the various water bodies in an area(s).

Water bodies are shown in a blue colour. Select an area to view the water body name.

(Note: if you are on a mobile device, after selecting a water body, tap on the arrow next to the 'X' icon to view more information.)

Unique identifier 

Site identifier 

Values and characteristics 

Ecology 

ECL1 

Whakatipu Waimāori / Lake Wakatipu 

  • Sightings of the Australasian crested grebe. 

  • Data shows the lake has had outstanding bryophyte communities with high diversity, and they are present at depths well deeper than that recorded for bryophytes in most other lakes in Aotearoa and elsewhere in the world.   

  • Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Wakatipu is recommended as outstanding with intact plants communities extending from the water's edge to depths of 40-50 m deep.  None of these lakes are subject to large water level fluctuations that can impact on shallow water plant communities (e.g., turf communities).   

ECL2 

Lake Wānaka 

  • Sightings of the Australasian crested grebe. 

  • Vegetation surveys of Otago lakes have reported a number of charophyte species. Lake Wānaka has eight reported species.
     
  • Data shows the lake has had outstanding bryophyte communities with high diversity, and they are present at depths well deeper than that recorded for bryophytes in most other lakes in Aotearoa and elsewhere in the world.  

  • Lake Wānaka is recommended as outstanding with intact plants communities extending from the waters edge to depths of 40-50 m deep.  None of these lakes are subject to large water level fluctuations that can impact on shallow water plant communities (e.g., turf communities).   

ECL3 

Rock Burn / Te Komama / Routeburn 

  • Observations of Blue duck/whio are particularly common in Te Komama/Routeburn and Rock Burn 

ECL4 

Te Awamāeroero / Lochy River 

  • Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River and the Von River are the only Otago water bodies with Alpine galaxias ‘Southland’.  The population located in the Lochy River catchment is estimated in size to be twice that of the estimated Von River population and comprises 5% of the total area occupied by Alpine galaxias ‘Southland’. The Lochy River population, while not large, is the fifth largest of the eleven known populations of this fish.  The galaxiid is also restricted to four catchments, the Waiau, Oreti, Mataura and Clutha. 

  • The Von and Te Awamāeroero/Lochy rivers are the only rivers with populations of non-diadromous galaxias in the Wakatipu basin or further upstream in the Dart and Rees river catchments. 

ECL5 

Mātakitaki River 

  • Regarded as a braided river system. These provide highly important ecosystems as braided rivers are generally rare in Aotearoa and around the world. 

  • Provide important breeding and feeding habitat to a range of native birds. 

  • Bird surveys report the presence of a range of threatened bird species: Wrybill, Banded dotterel, Black-fronted tern, Black billed gull, Black back gull, and more recently occasional observations of black stilt/kaki. 

  • Additional native water bird species are also recorded in these areas: Paradise shelduck, South Island pied oystercatcher, Spurwing plover, Gray duck, Pied stilt, Pukeko, White heron, Australasian shoveler, Australasian bittern. 

ECL6 

Makarore River 

  • Regarded as a braided river system. These provide highly important ecosystems as braided rivers are generally rare in Aotearoa and around the world. 

  • Provide important breeding and feeding habitat to a range of native birds. 

  • Bird surveys report the presence of a range of threatened bird species: Wrybill, Banded dotterel, Black-fronted tern, Black billed gull, Black back gull, and more recently occasional observations of black stilt/kaki. 

  • Additional native water bird species are also recorded in these areas: Paradise shelduck, South Island pied oystercatcher, Spurwing plover, Gray duck, Pied stilt, Pukeko, White heron, Australasian shoveler, Australasian bittern. 

ECL7 

Hunter River 

  • Regarded as a braided river system. These provide highly important ecosystems as braided rivers are generally rare in Aotearoa and around the world. 

  • Provide important breeding and feeding habitat to a range of native birds. 

  • Bird surveys report the presence of a range of threatened bird species: Wrybill, Banded dotterel, Black-fronted tern, Black billed gull, Black back gull, and more recently occasional observations of black stilt/kaki. 

  • Additional native water bird species are also recorded in these areas: Paradise shelduck, South Island pied oystercatcher, Spurwing plover, Gray duck, Pied stilt, Pukeko, White heron, Australasian shoveler, Australasian bittern. 

ECL8 

Dart River / Te Awa Whakatipu 

  • Regarded as a braided river system. These provide highly important ecosystems as braided rivers are generally rare in Aotearoa and around the world. 

  • Provide important breeding and feeding habitat to a range of native birds. 

  • The Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu from Kinloch upstream to the Rock Burn confluence is recommended as outstanding water bodies for Australasian bittern.   

  • Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu has resident breeding populations of blue duck/whio. 

  • Bird surveys report the presence of a range of threatened bird species: Wrybill, Banded dotterel, Black-fronted tern, Black billed gull, Black back gull, and more recently occasional observations of black stilt/kaki. 

  • Additional native water bird species are also recorded in these areas: Paradise shelduck, South Island pied oystercatcher, Spurwing plover, Gray duck, Pied stilt, Pukeko, White heron, Australasian shoveler, Australasian bittern. 

ECL9 

Von River 

  • The Von River, a tributary of Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Wakatipu, has a combination of native freshwater fish found nowhere else in Aotearoa.   

  • Alpine galaxias ‘Southland’, Gollum galaxias, Southern flathead (non-diadromous galaxiids) and Upland bully have colonised the Von River. 

  • The Von and Te Awamāeroero/Lochy rivers are the only rivers with populations of non-diadromous galaxias in the Wakatipu basin or further upstream in the Dart and Rees river catchments.  

  • The presence of landlocked Kōaro in the Wakatipu basin has allowed this usually diadromous fish to establish populations in Lake Wakatipu tributaries including the Von River where it forms a unique suite of fish species with the other fish species there. 

ECL10 

Von Valley Wetland Management Area 

  • The site scored an outstanding weighted conservation rank of 1.0 within the FENZ/WONI analysis (highest rank). 

  • The non-migratory - threatened southern flathead galaxias is likely in the streams connecting wetlands, and both the black and Gollum galaxias are likely within the wetlands here. 

  • Large area with an outstanding diversity of habitat types. 

  • High diversity of flora within the kettleholes and their margins. This is described by Johnson (1993). 

  • Presence of internationally rare and threatened plant species Cardamine sp., Oreomyrrhis colensoi var. delicatula, Crassula multicaulis, Isolepis basilaris, Tufted hair – grass (Deschampsia caespitosa), Ranunculus ternatifolius and Brachyscome linearis. 

Physical 

PHY1 

Te Hokaputu / Lake Harris and staircase of cirques  

  • Regionally Significant 

  • Excellent and easily accessible example of a cirque lake (Te Hokaputu/Lake Harris) as part of a staircase of cirques along Routeburn Track.  

  • Both sides of Te Komama/Routeburn Track, from Te Komama/Routeburn Falls hut to Te Hokaputu/Lake Harris on east side of Harris Saddle/Tarahaka Whakatipu, then further north up catchment to Lake Wilson cirque.  

PHY2 

Routeburn Falls glacial stairway 

  • Nationally Significant 

One of the two best examples of a glacial stairway in Aotearoa. It exhibits a range of glacial features including cirques and terminal moraine.  

  • Te Komama/Routeburn Falls, north of Te Komama/Routeburn Falls Hut, Humboldt Mountains. 

PHY3 

Bridal Veil Stream pothole, Te Komama/Routeburn Track 

  • Regionally Significant 

  • Excellent and readily accessible example of a large pothole scoured out cobbles in a stream.  

  • Visible just downstream of bridge over Bridal Veil Stream on Te Komama/Routeburn Track 

PHY4 

Dart River delta 

  • Regionally Significant 

Excellent example of a braided-river delta entering the head of a lake.  

  • Northern end of Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu. 

PHY5 

Bridal Veil Falls, Rob Roy Stream, Mount Aspiring/Tititea  

  • Regionally Significant 

  • Spectacular 261m high waterfall plunges over vertical drop from small hanging valley.  

  • Waterfall plunges over vertical wall on side of Rob Roy Valley.  

  • On true right tributary of Rob Roy Stream, 3km up from junction with Mātakitaki River and 5km by tramping track from parking area at end of road. 

PHY6 

Makarore River delta 

  • Regionally Significant 

  • Good example of a braided river delta entering a lake. 

  • North end of Lake Wānaka. 

PHY7 

Motatapu gorge  

  • Nationally Significant 

An extremely narrow, 2.5-metre-wide gorge.  

  • Māpoutahi/Motatapu River, near Motatapu Station homestead, southwest Lake Wānaka. 

PHY8 

Twin Falls, Wānaka 

  • Regionally Significant 

Best example of waterfalls flowing over the vertical sides of Mātakitaki glacial valley. Readily visible.  

Two falls, 200 metres apart, flow over 200 metres near vertical cliffs.  

  • West of Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Rd, 500 metres south of Treble Cone Skifield turnoff. 

PHY9 

Crucible Lake moraine-dammed lake 

  • Nationally Significant. 

An example of a moraine-dammed lake.  

  • SSE of Mt Alba, 2 km west of Siberia Stream. 

PHY10 

Ōturu / Diamond Lake roche moutonee 

  • Regionally Significant  

  • Complex landforms on the pluck side of a 775 metre high roche moutonee, including Ōturu/Diamond Lake.  

  • 2 square kilometre area of complex rocky knolls and depressions and rock faces.  

  • On northeast side of Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Rd, 1km west of an arm of Lake Wānaka and 500 metres northwest of West Wanaka Rd junction. 

Recreation 

REC1 

Earnslaw Burn 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site 

REC2 

Ōturu / Diamond Lake 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order (fishery). 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

  • A range of assessments for angling value ranging from outstanding (ORC Regional Water Plan for Otago) to local (RiVAS). 

  • Nationally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago, RiVAS). 

REC3 

Whakatipu Waimāori / Lake Whakatipu 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order (recreational purposes, fishery).

  • Recognised for fishery, recreational purposes, in particular boating.

  • Major tourism setting. 

  • All lake and shore activities.  

  • Scenic. 

REC4 

Te Awamāeroero / Lochy River 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order.

  • Recognised for fishery, recreational purposes, in particular fishing.  

  • Nationally and regionally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago, RiVAS). 

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC5 

Von River 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order.

  • Outstanding for recreation (fishery, recreational purposes, in particular fishing).  

  • Regionally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago and RiVAS)  

  • Used for packrafting. 

REC6 

Greenstone River 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order.

  • Outstanding for recreation (natural and physical qualities and characteristics that contribute to recreational attributes).  

  • Nationally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago and RiVAS).

  • Fishery considered outstanding in the DOC Otago Conservation Management Strategy.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC7 

Caples River 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order (from Greenstone confluence to its source).

  • Previously assessed as outstanding for recreation (natural and physical qualities and characteristics that contribute to recreational attributes). 
     
  • Nationally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago and RiVAS).

  • Fishery considered outstanding in the DOC Otago Conservation Management Strategy.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC8 

Lake McKellar 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order in association with the Greenstone River.

  • Outstanding for recreation (natural and physical qualities and characteristics that contribute to recreational attributes).  

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site  

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC9 

Kay Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC10 

Fraser Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC11 

Dart River / Te Awa Whakatipu upstream Park boundary 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order but not for recreation values.  

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park.

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting and regionally significant for white water kayaking and rafting (RiVAS). 

REC12 

Dart River / Te Awa Whakatipu downstream Park boundary 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order but not for recreation values.  

  • Very high participation numbers for jet boating and outstanding largely for this value.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting and regionally significant for white water kayaking and rafting (RiVAS). 

REC13 

Beans Burn 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC14 

Rock Burn 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC15 

Lake Sylvan 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC16 

Snowy Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC17 

Whitbourn Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC18 

Puahiri / Puahere / Rees River upstream of Hunter Creek 

  • Largely within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Angling significance assessments range from national (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago) to local (RiVAS).  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC19 

Diamond Creek 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order (fishery). 

  • Outstanding for recreation.  

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Angling significance assessments include outstanding (ORC Regional Water Plan for Otago), national (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago) and regional (RiVAS).  

  • Nationally significant for hunting (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago). 

REC20 

Lake Reid 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order (fishery) and previously assessed as outstanding for recreation in association with Diamond Lake and Diamond Creek.  

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  • Angling significance assessments range from national (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago) to local (RiVAS).  

REC21 

Te Komama / Routeburn incl Left and North Branches 

  • Protected by a Water Conservation Order. 

  • Outstanding for recreation (natural and physical qualities and characteristics that contribute to recreational attributes).  

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Regionally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago and RiVAS), nationally significant for white water kayaking (RiVAS). 

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC22 

Te Hokaputu/Lake Harris 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC23 

Hunter River East and West Branch 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC24 

Ferguson Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC25 

Long Flat Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC26 

Scrubby Flat Creek 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC27 

Lake Wānaka 

  • Protected by Lake Wānaka Preservation Act 1973, although the Act does not refer to recreation values.  

  • Outstanding for a wide range of recreational uses (Greenaway 2018).  

  • Nationally significant for angling (Sports F&G Management Plan for Otago and RiVAS). 

  • Used for packrafting. 

REC28 

Mātakitaki River upstream Cameron Flat 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC29 

Mātakitaki River West Branch (upstream of Aspiring Campsite) 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Considered outstanding for packrafting. 

REC30 

Rob Roy Stream 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC31 

Glacier Burn 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC32 

Makarore River – upstream Gorge 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Nationally significant for white water kayaking, regionally significant for angling and rafting (RiVAS). 

REC33 

Makarore River – downstream Gorge 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Nationally significant for white water kayaking, regionally significant for angling and rafting (RiVAS). 

REC34 

Blue River 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Regionally significant for kayaking (RiVAS). 

  • Used for packrafting. 

REC35 

Lucidus Lake 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC36 

Ōtānenui / Wilkin River upstream Newland Stream, incl North & South Branch 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park.  

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Nationally significant for kayaking (RiVAS) and used for packrafting. 

REC37 

Ōtānenui / Wilkin downstream Newland Stream 

  • Nationally significant for white water kayaking, angling and jet boating. 

REC38 

Te Awamakarara / Young River South Branch 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC39 

Siberia Stream 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site (with some exclusions) and Mount Aspiring National Park. 

  • Has high associated recreation values.  

  • Used for packrafting. 

REC40 

Albert Burn 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

REC41 

Kitchener River 

  • Within UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mount Aspiring National Park.

  • Has high associated recreation values. 

Natural character 

NAT1 

Dart River / Te Awa Whakatipu 

Active Bed 

  • Pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in Tititea/Mount Aspiring National Park and adjacent conservation areas, including glacial/ cirque lakes, alpine streams and rivers, and wetlands. 

  • Braided rivers (mid reaches of Puahiri/Puahere/Rees River and Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu) with weed-free and unrestricted river beds with natural braided form. Limited gravel extraction around Dart bridge. 

  • Braided riverbed provides important bird habitat, nesting and breeding habitats for threatened birds such as ngutu pare/wrybill and tarapirohe/black-fronted tern, banded dotterel, black billed gull, South Island pied oystercatcher. 

  • Some terrestrial weeds present within the riverbed including willows. 

  • Very high water quality throughout the area, apart from agricultural influence on Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu below Mill Flat and lower part of Greenstone and Caples Rivers.
     
  • Unmodified flow regimes apart from small scale groundwater abstraction below Dart Valley.

  • Jet boat access frequently occurs on the Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu River below Beans Burn.  

Margins  

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring NP predominantly native vegetation along river banks with very small-scale modifications, such as walking tracks, footbridges and huts.

  • Lower reaches of Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu partially lined by willows and a road bridge, but natural braided pattern dominates, including delta at Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu.  

  • Land use modification along part of Lower Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu includes agriculture (below Chinamans Bluff) and limited flood protection structures around the road bridge.  

Context 

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring National Park and adjacent conservation areas pristine, highly natural landscape context from the mountainous headwaters to the valley floors. 

  • Landscape Context along the lower reaches of Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu below Chinamans Bluff includes limited agriculture interspersed with areas of native vegetation along the adjacent mountain slopes.

  • Settlement is very limited to individual station buildings within lower Dart Valley and access is confined to gravel roads as far as Te Komama/Routeburn, Greenstone and Dart Track shelters. 

  • Overall natural patterns dominate even in areas with agricultural use.

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness, visited by locals and tourists alike.

NAT2 

Mātakitaki 

Bed 

  • Pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in Tititea/Mount Aspiring NP and adjacent conservation areas, including glacial/ cirque lakes, alpine streams and rivers, and wetlands, including the Mātakitaki Valley Wetland. 

  • Braided riverbed of Mātakitaki River is largely weed-free apart from the islands within the delta. The largely unrestricted riverbed displays strongly its natural braided form. Limited gravel extraction and localised bank protection works around and below Raspberry Creek. 

  • Braided riverbed provides important bird habitat, nesting and breeding habitats for threatened birds such as ngutu pare/wrybill, banded dotterel, black billed gull, and tarapirohe/black-fronted tern. 

  • Very high-water quality throughout the area, apart from agricultural influence in Mātakitaki River below Cascade Hut, in particular below East Branch confluence. 

  • Unmodified flow regimes with limited, small-scale bores in lower Mātakitaki River, and small-scale hydroelectricity consent in Niger Stream. 

  • Jet boat access frequently occurs on the Mātakitaki River below and in the east branch. 

Margins 

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring National Park predominantly native vegetation along riverbanks with very small-scale modifications, such as walking tracks, footbridges and huts.
     
  • Lower reaches of Mātakitaki River partially lined by willows and poplars (below Raspberry Creek) but natural braided pattern dominates. Willows extend along most of the margins and islands of the delta at Lake Wanaka. 

  • Mātakitaki wetland reserve along northern riverbank is protected through conservation area. 

  • Land use modification along Lower Mātakitaki includes agriculture which increases in intensity in the lower reaches. 

Context 

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring NP and adjacent conservation areas pristine, highly natural landscape context from the mountainous headwaters to the valley floors. 

  • Landscape Context along the lower reaches of Mātakitaki River below Raspberry Creek includes agriculture on the valley floor with areas of tussockland along the adjacent mountain slopes and limited native forest in gullies. 

  • Settlement is very limited to individual station buildings within lower Mātakitaki Valley and access is mostly confined to gravel roads.

  • Overall, highly natural landforms and natural patterns dominate, but less natural context below Mātakitaki East Branch confluence on valley floor due to agricultural use. 

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness, visited by locals and tourists alike. 

NAT3 

Motatapu 

Active bed 

  • The headwaters of the Motatapu River encompass pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in private (QE2) and public (DOC) conservation areas, including alpine streams wetlands. 

  • Area includes streams that drain the Harris Mountains south of End Peak and Highland Saddle but excludes the lower Motatapu River below the confluence of the two branches.
     
  • Generally steep, deeply incised streams, some lined with beech forest in gullies. 

  • Alpine wetlands on valley floor of Golspie Burn and adjacent to meandering Motatapu River. 

  • Very high water quality throughout the area, apart from agricultural influence on Motatapu Valley floor. 

  • Unmodified flow regimes, no water abstraction in upper Motatapu Valley and tributaries. 

Margins 

  • Steep sided creeks with a mix of indigenous shrubland species and tussocklands along the margins. 

  • Land use modification along Motatapu Valley floor includes agriculture where grazing occurs in areas covered in extensive pastural grassland. 

Context 

  • Headwaters include limited areas of public conservation land and large tracts of privately covenanted land where mountainous landscape context is highly natural. 

  • No settlement and very limited man-made structures; extensive pastoral grazing on valley floor and lower slopes; gravel roads providing limited access along valley floor. 

  • Relatively low weed infestation throughout the area. 

  • Overall, highly natural landforms and natural patterns dominate with few fence lines and absence of shelterbelts and forestry. 

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness, visited along the Motatapu Track that traverses the area, providing access to small-scale tramping huts. 

NAT4 

Makarore 

Active Bed 

  • Pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in Tititea/Mount Aspiring and adjacent conservation areas (incl Hawea Conservation Park), including glacial/ cirque lakes, alpine streams and rivers, and wetlands. 

  • Braided riverbed of lower Wilkin River is largely weed-free while modification (gravel extraction) and exotic vegetation is more noticeable within lower MakaroreRiver bed which has been excluded from outstanding water body identification. 

  • Very high water quality throughout the area as located within conservation land. 

  • Breeding site for wrybill, banded dotterel, black fronted tern, and black billed gull. 

  • Unmodified flow regimes throughout the area.  

  • Jet boat access frequently occurs on the Makaroreand Ōtānenui/Wilkin River below Kerin Forks. 

Margins 

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring NP and other conservation areas predominantly native vegetation along riverbanks with very small-scale modifications, such as walking tracks, footbridges and huts. 

  • Extensive grazing on high-country stations along lower Minaret and Estuary Burn, the western shores and slopes of Lake Wānaka and the lower Ōtānenui/Wilkin River. 

  • Near Makarore River confluence Ōtānenui/Wilkin River partially lined by willows but natural braided pattern dominates. 

  • Land use modification along Lower Makarore River includes agriculture, terrestrial weeds (e.g., willow), settlement (incl wastewater and water takes) and State highway 6 with associated bridges, which led to exclusion. 

Context 

  • Within Tititea/Mount Aspiring NP and adjacent conservation areas pristine, highly natural landscape context from the mountainous headwaters to the valley floors. 

  • Landscape Context within high-country stations includes extensively grazed land on the valley floor with areas of tussockland along the adjacent mountain slopes and limited native forest in gullies. 

  • Settlement is limited to Makarore Valley floor which is not included in outstanding water body identification. 

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness, visited by locals and tourists alike. 

NAT5 

Hunter 

Active Bed 

  • Pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in Hāwea Conservation Park which encompasses the upper Hunter catchment with small exclusions on the valley floor and some of the lower slopes, including alpine tarns, streams and rivers, and wetlands. 

  • Braided riverbed of lower Hunter River is largely weed-free and free of man-made structures. 

  • Very high-water quality throughout the area as located within conservation land with minor stock influence on lower Hunter River and lower sections of streams draining into Lake Hāwea. 

  • Unmodified flow regimes throughout the area (lower Whakakea/Dingleburn River and Johns Creek with small irrigation takes excluded from outstanding water bodies). 

Margins 

  • Within conservation areas predominantly native vegetation along riverbanks with very small-scale modifications, such as very few tracks and huts. 

  • Land use modification includes extensive grazing and limited 4WD tracks on high-country stations along lower Hunter River and shores of Lake Hāwea. 

  • Lower part of fans, created by streams draining into Lake Hāwea, are excluded due to more intensive grazing and higher level of weed infestation. 

Context 

Within Hāwea Conservation Park pristine, highly natural landscape context from the mountainous headwaters to the valley floors.  

Landscape Context within high-country stations includes extensively grazed land on the Hunter River valley floor, some of its tributaries and streams draining into Lake Hāwea.  

Areas of tussockland on mountain slopes in mid and lower catchment and native forest on slopes and in valleys in upper catchment.  

Settlement very limited with few buildings associated with high-country stations.  

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness. Upper catchment rarely visited while catchment around Lake Hawea forms a frequently viewed natural backdrop to the lake. 

NAT6 

Lochy 

 

Active Bed 

  • Largely unmodified water bodies in alpine areas of the Eyre and Thomson Mountains, including alpine tarns, streams and rivers, and wetlands. 

  • Some smaller braided rivers, such as the Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River and Von Rivers with unmodified beds and notable gorge sections, in particular on the lower Von River. 

  • Most riverbeds, including the Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River, are free of man-made structures, apart from small-scale gravel road bridges and flood protection works in localised areas of the Von River. 

  • Very high-water quality throughout the area as with minor stock influence in lower sections of streams and rivers draining into Lake Wakatipu, in particular Von and Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River and Collins and McKinlays Creek. 

  • The Von River contains several threatened and at risk galaxiids including Gollum galaxias, Galaxias ‘southern’, and Galaxias paucispondylus ‘Southland’, upland bully, and Kōaro. 

  • Unmodified flow regimes throughout the area, apart from small-scale water takes at the lower Shortburn (lower Georges Creek excluded from outstanding water bodies). 

Margins 

  • Within mountainous headwaters predominantly native vegetation along riverbanks with very small-scale modifications, such as very few tracks and huts. 

  • Land use modification includes extensive grazing and limited 4WD tracks on high-country stations along the Von River and Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River and Collins Creek and shores of Lake Whakatipu. 

  • Lower -lying area around the shores of Lake Wakatipu between Fern Hills and Beach Bay are excluded due to more intensive grazing and land use modification. 

  • Von Road extending along the majority of Von River, sometimes in close proximity to the margin, requiring localised flood protection measures. 

Context  

  • Within the alpine areas highly natural landscape context from the mountainous headwaters to the valley floors.  

  • Landscape Context within high-country stations includes more intensively farmed land along the lower Te Awamāeroero/Lochy River and Von River, and Collins and McKinlays Creek valley floor, and extensive grazing along streams draining into Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu.  

  • Areas of tussockland on mountain slopes in mid and lower catchment and native forest on slopes and in valleys in upper catchments.  

  • Large notable wetlands within the Von catchment.  

  • Settlement very limited with few buildings and roads associated with high-country stations around Whites Bay, Beach Bay, Collins Bay and Halfway Bay.  

  • Von Road is main access route into the area.  

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness, but apart from Von Valley and Mt Nicholas/ Walter Peak station not visited by the public. Slopes and waterways along Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Wakatipu, including more modified northern part, form a frequently viewed natural backdrop to the lake.  

NAT7 

Remarkables 

Active Bed 

  • Pristine or largely unmodified water bodies in Kawarau/the Remarkables Conservation Area which encompasses the tops of the Kawarau/the Remarkables Mountains and part of the Tāpuae O'Uenuku/Hector Ranges (western slopes within Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu catchment) including alpine tarns, streams and wetlands. 

  • Steep upper catchments and streams largely weed-free and free of man-made structures. 

  • Very high water quality throughout the area with minor stock influence on lower sections of streams draining into Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu (excluded from outstanding water bodies). 

  • Unmodified flow regimes throughout the area (lower Wye Creek with small-scale hydro generation excluded from outstanding water bodies). 

Margins 

  • Within conservation area and along incised steep streams predominantly native vegetation along margins with few small-scale modifications, such as tracks. 

  • Land use modification includes extensive grazing and limited 4WD tracks on high-country stations along lower slopes around the eastern shores of Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu. 

  • Lower part of fans and slopes, created by streams draining into Lake Wakatipu, are excluded due to more intensive grazing and higher level of weed infestation. 

Context 

  • Within Kawarau/the Remarkables Conservation Area pristine, highly natural landscape context including the mountainous headwaters and alpine valley floors. 

  • Landscape Context on lower slopes includes extensively grazed land and SH 6 in vicinity of Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu shores. 

  • Areas of tussockland on upper and mid mountain slopes with native forest limited to few deeply incised, steep gullies. 

  • Settlement areas associated with high-country stations and Jacks Point urban area are excluded from the outstanding water bodies. 

  • Sensitive landscape due to its high natural character values and openness. Conservation area in upper catchment visited by recreationists. Catchment around Whakatipu Waimāori/Lake Whakatipu forms a frequently viewed natural backdrop to the lake. 

Natural features and landscapes 

LAN1 

Greenstone River and Caples River 

  • Both the Caples and Greenstone Rivers are intact braided rivers formed from glacial outwash and river gravels. 

  • Braided river channels within both rivers remain unimpeded or restricted by modifications and structures. 

  • Includes Lake McKeller and Lake Rere.

  • Margins of both streams include a mixture of tussock and browntop within the open valleys, and beech forest within the upper reaches of the rivers and the narrow gorge towards the lower extent of the Greenstone River. 

  • Fauna present include whio (blue duck) and pūtakitaki (paradise duck). 

  • Vast and open river valleys defined by beech forest within the river margins. 

  • Coherent braided river channels which are highly expressive of their formative processes. 

  • Highly remote and scenic. 

  • The Greenstone River valley was a traditional travel route between Lake Wakatipu to the Hollyford Valley for mana whenua. 

  • Ōtākaha (Lake McKellar) is one of several kāinga mahinga kai areas on this travel route and was named after an ancestor. 

LAN2 

Puahiri/ Puahere/ Rees River 

  • Intact braided river formed from glacial outwash and river gravels. 

  • Braided river channels remain unimpeded or restricted by modifications and structures. 

  • Margins clad in a mixture of intact beech forest, regenerating native vegetation, and farmland. 

  • Coherent braided river channels are highly expressive of their formative processes. 

LAN3 

Earnslaw Burn 

  • Narrow, intact, and rocky incised stream. 

  • No modifications to the active bed or margins including water flow and changes to the creek channel. 

  • Margins clad in intact beech forest. 

  • Memorable and steep catchment adjacent to Ōturu/Diamond Lake. 

LAN4 

Ōturu / Diamond Lake 

  • Glacially carved lake formed during the last ice age. 

  • Margins contain a mixture of intact beech forest and farmland. 

  • Lake is highly legible and expressive of its formative processes. 

LAN5 

Dart River / Te Awa Whakatipu 

  • Intact braided river formed from glacial outwash and river gravels. 

  • Braided river channels remain unimpeded or restricted by modifications and structures in the upper reaches.  

  • Margins clad in a mixture of intact beech forest, regenerating native vegetation, and in the lower reaches, farmland. 

  • Coherent braided river channels are highly expressive of their formative processes. 

LAN6 

Komama / Routeburn 

  • Narrow, rocky, and intact semi-braided river. 

  • Includes Lake Harris and Lake Wilson in the headwaters. 

  • No modifications to the active bed. 

  • Margins are clad in dense beech forest. 

LAN7 

Lake Sylvan 

  • Unmodified and intact glacially carved lake. 

  • Margins are clad in dense beech forest. 

  • Lake is highly legible and expressive of its formative processes. 

LAN8 

Rock Burn 

  • Narrow, intact, and rocky incised stream. 

  • No modifications to the active bed or margins including water flow and changes to the creek channel. 

  • Includes Lake Nerine in the headwaters of the catchment. 

  • Margins clad in intact beech forest. 

  • Highly legible and expressive of its formative processes. 

LAN9 

Lake Unknown 

  • Unmodified and intact glacially carved lake. 

  • Margins are clad in coherent areas of subalpine and tussock communities. 

  • Lake is highly legible and expressive of its formative processes. 

LAN10 

Von River 

  • Intact, and narrow braided river. 

  • Incised gorge upstream of the mouth is a prominent feature. 

  • Active bed remains unmodified in the upper reaches, with limited modifications in the lower reaches of the Von River. 

  • Margins of the stream vary from brown top and tussockland and fernland in the upper reaches, to regenerating indigenous forest and high producing farmland in the lower reaches and on the shores of Lake Whakatipu. 

  • The channel and formation of the river remains largely coherent and legible, although land use and vegetation within the margins varies throughout the catchment. 

  • The Von River and Hut Burn gorge is a memorable feature within lower extent of the catchment. 

  • The Von River was a traditional travel route for mana whenua between the shores of Lake Whakatipu within the mountain ranges of Te Waipounamu to the coastal settlements near Ōreti Estuary (Invercargill). 

LAN11 

Te Awamāeroero / Lochy River 

  • Incised stream transitioning to a braided river near Halfway Bay.  

  • Active bed is narrow in the upper reaches, with a semibraided section near the confluence with Wither Peak.  

  • No modifications to the active bed or margins including water takes, dams, or bores.  

  • Margins within the upper reaches include a mixture of browntop and tussockland, matagouri scrub and shrubland, and beech forest, while the lower reaches are farmed and include a mixture of browntop and tussockland, and exotic shelter belts.  

  • Geomorphic legibility of the water body remains intact and expressive of its formative processes, including the braided river patterns albeit surrounded by farmland in the lower reaches.  

  • The Lochy River is a memorable and highly legible feature to the north of the Eyre Mountain Range.  

  • Highly coherent in the upper reaches due to lack of structures and modifications.  

  • The Lochy River and wider catchment is associated with Māeroero (wild men of the woods). These men occupied the forested area of the Lochy River and were known for their great strength and craftiness.  

LAN12 

Whakatipu Waimāori / Lake Whakatipu 

  • Intact glacially carved lake formed approximately 15,000 years ago.  

  • Active bed of the lake remains largely unmodified, with the exception of surface water takes near Queenstown.  

  • Several native aquatic flora present including deep water mosses (bryophytes), while the margins contain a spectrum of urban development near Queenstown, to intact areas of beech forest.  

  • Water quality is considered ‘very good’ (based on LAWA scale of Very Good to Very Poor). Ecological condition is also considered excellent with limited impact from invasive species. 

  • Flow of the water body towards the Kawarau River remains unimpeded due to the lack of structures (such as dams) within the active bed.  

  • Highly legible glacial lake expressive of its formative processes.  

  • Highly coherent and memorable landscape feature within the wider Whakatipu basin.  

  • Heightened sense of naturalness with a lack of structures and modifications to the active bed.  

  • Lake Wakatipu or Whakatipu Waimāori is associated with the ancestor Rākaihautū who dug the lake with his kō (digging stick). 

LAN13 

Wye Creek 

  • Intact and rocky incised stream.  

  • Active bed is narrow with a steep gradient.  

  • Includes Lake Hope in the headwaters of the catchment.  

  • Margins of the stream are lined with dense native conifer species and broadleaf forest.  

  • Memorable and steep catchment adjacent to Wye Creek Settlement.  

LAN14 

Mātakitaki River 

  • Intact braided river formed from glacial outwash and river gravels.  

  • Braided river channels remain unimpeded or restricted by modifications and structures in the upper reaches. Some modifications in the lower reaches include bore and gravel extraction consents.  

  • Margins clad in a mixture of intact beech forest, in the upper reaches to highly modified farmland in the lower reaches.  

  • Legible braided river channels are highly expressive of their formative processes.  

  • The Mātakitaki (Matukituki) River was a traditional travel route for mana whenua between the shores of Lake Wānaka and Jackson Bay on the West Coast.  

LAN15 

Motatapu River 

  • Narrow, incised, and rocky river devoid of structures and modifications. Some vehicle crossings present near Motutapu Station.  

  • Margins are clad in tall tussockland in the upper reaches and farmland in the lower reaches.  

  • Memorable river within the Lake Wānaka catchment.  

LAN16 

Ōtānenui / Wilkin River and Siberia Stream 

  • Intact braided river with no structures, modifications or consents.  

  • Margins are clad in extensive beech forest, tall tussockland, regenerating native forest (manuka and kanuka), and areas of grazed pasture in lower reaches of the catchment.
     
     
  • Includes Lucidious Lake and Lake Castalia in the headwaters of the Wilkin River, and Crucible Lake in the headwaters of Siberia Stream.  

  • Active bed is highly expressive of its formative processes including braided river channels.  

LAN17 

Te Awamakarara / Young River 

  • Intact braided river with no structures, modifications or consents.  

  • Margins are clad in extensive beech forest, tall tussockland, regenerating native forest (manuka and kanuka), and areas of grazed pasture in lower reaches of the catchment. 
     
  • Active bed is highly expressive of its formative processes including braided river channels.  

LAN18 

Blue River 

  • Intact semi braided river in the upper catchment, turning to rocky, narrow, and incised river in the lower catchment.  

  • Margins are clad in extensive beech forest, sub alpine communities, broadleaf forest, and grassland in lower reaches.  

  • Active bed is highly expressive of its formative processes including braided river channels.  

  • The Blue River formed the eastern extent of Māori Saddle, which was known to be a frequent traditional travel route between the Makarore River and the Okuru River mouth near Haast.  

LAN19 

Makarore River 

  • Intact braided river formed from glacial outwash and river gravels.  

  • Braided river channels remain unimpeded or restricted by modifications and structures in the upper reaches. Some modifications in the lower reaches including a bore and discharge to water consents, and roading infrastructure associated with State Highway 6.  

  • Margins clad in a mixture of intact beech forest, regenerating native vegetation, and in the lower reaches, farmland.  

  • Coherent braided river channels are highly expressive of their formative processes.  

LAN20 

Lake Wānaka 

  • Identified in Lake Wanaka Preservation Act (1973).

  • Intact glacially carved lake which remains largely unmodified.  

  • Margins are clad in a range of vegetation with varying degrees of modification. Northern extent includes areas of intact beech forest, fernland, and regenerating native vegetation (manuka and kanuka). Southern extent includes the township of Wānaka and areas of grassland and pastoral farming.  

  • Water quality is considered ‘very good’ (based on LAWA scale of Very Good to Very Poor). Ecological condition is also considered excellent. Highly legible glacial lake expressive of its formative processes.  

  • Highly coherent and memorable landscape feature within the wider Wānaka basin.  

  • Lake Wānaka is associated with the ancestor Rākaihautū who dug the lake with his kō (digging stick). Several kāinga mahinga kai (food-gathering places) and kāinga nohoanga (settlements) were located around the lake where tuna (eels), aruhe (bracken fernroot), weka, pora (‘Māori turnip’), mahetau, kāuru (cabbage tree root), harakeke (flax), and kākāpō were gathered.  

LAN21 

Lake Hāwea 

  • Glacially carved lake modified by the Hāwea Dam.  

  • Margins are clad in a range of vegetation with varying degrees of modification. This includes dense beech forest, fernland, regenerating native vegetation (manuka and kanuka), grassland, pastoral farming and the township of Hāwea.  

  • Water quality is considered ‘very good’ (based on LAWA scale of Very Good to Very Poor). Ecological condition is also considered excellent.  

  • Highly legible glacial lake expressive of its formative processes, albeit with modified water levels.  

  • Highly coherent and memorable landscape feature.  

  • Lake Hāwea is associated with the ancestor Rākaihautū who dug the lake with his kō (digging stick). Several kāinga mahinga kai (food-gathering places) and kāinga nohoanga (settlements) were located around the lake where kea, kererū, kākā, kiwi, kākāpō, tūī, weka, pūtakitaki (paradise duck), pārera (duck sp.), tuna (eel), kāuru (cabbage tree root), aruhe (bracken fernroot), and pora ('Māori turnips') were gathered.  

LAN22 

Hunter River 

  • Intact braided river system with no structures, or consents.  

  • Margins include dense beech forest in the upper reaches transitioning to areas of grazed grassland, regenerating indigenous forest (manuka and kanuka) and fernland.  

  • River is highly expressive of its fluvial formative processes with a highly distinctive braided river pattern.  

LAN23 

Dingle Burn 

  • Rocky, braided river, unimpeded by structures, and consents.  

  • Margins are clad in dense beech forest in the lower reaches and tall tussockland, grassland and subalpine vegetation in the upper reaches.  

  • Distinctive alluvial fan in at the confluence of Lake Hāwea.  

LAN24 

Timaru River 

  • Narrow, and rocky braided river devoid of structures and consents.  

  • Margins are clad in areas of dense beech forest, regenerating native vegetation (manuka and kanuka), tall tussockland, grassland and sub alpine vegetation.  

  • River is highly expressive of its fluvial formative processes with a highly distinctive braided river pattern. The Timaru River is recorded as a landing place for mōkihi (rafts), and a kāinga mahinga kai (food-gathering place) where tuna (eels) and weka were gathered.  

 

Economic profile and snapshot

While freshwater policies might be designed and applied specifically to the Upper Lakes Rohe, their impacts may be felt beyond. Hence the Upper Lakes Rohe and the neighbouring Dunstan Rohe are combined when considering socio-economic information. These communities have close economic ties, i.e., residents are likely to live in one of the areas while working/spending in the other areas.

In 2018, the Upper Lakes Rohe and Dunstan Rohe were home to around 47,400 residents (21% of Otago’s population). In the previous 12 years, the population in these Rohe increased by 19,300 people (or 69%) from 28,000 residents in 2006. This rapid population growth is putting increasing pressure on water use (water takes and discharges of pollutants or contaminants) and its infrastructure. Overall, these Rohe have relatively low social deprivation, when considering factors such as income, home ownership, employment, access to transport and communications, and access to internet.

The local communities and the economy in the Upper Lakes and Dunstan Rohe are especially reliant on water resources. The most populated towns in this Rohe are built around the lakes. Tourism, the most important industry sector in the Rohe, relies on fresh water in some way or form (including snow, which is essential for the ski resorts operating in the Rohe). Agricultural activities, mainly dry stock (incl. deer and with little/no dairy in the Upper Lakes Rohe) and horticulture/viticulture operations, are dependent on freshwater supplies.

An understanding of Māori history and the Māori economy is essential for policy development and policy impact assessment. Not only does pre-European Māori history help shape modern day New Zealand, but the Māori economy is also integral to the New Zealand economic system. ORC is partnering with Aukaha and Te Ao Marama to develop an overview of Kāi Tahu history and economy.

 

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