25 September 2023
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Iwi seeking closure of Lake Okataina
*PLEASE NOTE: The following enquiry relates to a Facebook post on the Te Arawa Lakes Trust page relating to Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust seeking the closure of Lake Okataina to protect it from any potential freshwater gold clam incursions. At its latest meeting on Friday the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Strategy Group (made up of lakes programme partners BOPRC, RLC and TALT) supported, in principle, the iwi trust undertaking the process to request the lake’s closure, which would be a decision of MPI.
Just following up on the announcement made over the weekend about the temporary closure of Lake Okataina.
RLC is being contacted for comment as it's on the Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group.
- What is RLC involvement in the decision to close this lake to boats until further notice?
- Why was the decision made to close the lake to boats?
- What is RLC stance on the closure of the lake until further notice? Are there any concerns either way?
- What are the next steps in terms of keeping the rivers and lakes cleared? What is RLC role in this?
Any other comments are welcome.
We asked the reporter to make contact with Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust, which is seeking the closure of the lake, in the first instance.
We also asked her to note that the iwi trust is seeking the lake’s closure, that it is not closed at this point in time.
Regarding the Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group, we asked her to please in the first instance speak to the chair of the strategy group, Arapeta Tahana, who would be the proper person to speak on behalf of the group about this matter.
Re keeping rivers and lakes "cleared" [we presumed of gold clams], we referred the reporter to MPI which is the agency that is responsible for biosecurity.
We invited the reporter to come back to us later, once she had spoken to the above parties, if she had any questions specific to Rotorua Lakes Council, noting that the above were the appropriate parties to speak to in the first instance.
*NOTE: the reporter also requested information from BOP Regional Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust and it was our understanding that Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust were preparing a news release regarding this matter.