Press Releases

Helicopter Application Completed

A helicopter herbicide application was successfully carried out this morning on parts of Lake Wanaka, the Lake Wanaka Lagarosiphon Management Group confirmed today.

The application was part of the 2004/2005 interim programme for the control of the weed Lagarosiphon in Lake Wanaka as agreed by a management group consisting of:

The Lake Wanaka Guardians, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), Otago Regional Council (ORC), the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

As indicated in the interim plan, herbicide gel was applied by air from 8am in perfect, still conditions to the following areas: Paddock Bay, Parkins Bay, Mt Burke to Quartz Creek, Quartz Creek to Mt. Burke Station, Stevensons Island, Isthmus of Stevenson?s Arm and West Wanaka Bay.

"There will now be a 24-hour period, specific to those areas, where on a precautionary basis we ask the community to refrain from recreational use and from drinking any water taken directly from the application areas until 10am tomorrow (Wednesday). There is no risk to normal water supplies," management group spokesman Chris Hawker said.

As agreed, the Otago Regional Council today took water samples from the application area and would also test the main town supply intake.

Additional boat applications, as set down in the interim plan, were also scheduled to take place prior to December 17.

"With mechanical removal already underway, I think everyone has been somewhat surprised by the bulk and spread of the weed. The extent of the problem more than justifies the urgent need to cut lagarosiphon back to a manageable problem," Mr Hawker said.

The group was grateful for the support and encouragement received from many quarters of the community.

"Understandably this has been an emotive issue but we have been heartened that once people have taken the time to understand the problem, the solutions and apprise themselves of the facts we have received wide support," Mr Hawker said.

Meanwhile the management group was scheduled to meet next week to finalise the 10-year management plan.

"This will be circulated internally prior to Christmas before being released for public comment in the New Year," Mr Hawker said.

ENDS

For further comment please contact Chris Hawker 03 443 8197.