Leader in call for lake action

The leader of the proposed Lake Horowhenua Accord has said the lake is in a mess and no-one should stand in the way of getting it cleaned up.

Sir Wira Gardiner has been chosen as the facilitator for a lake accord expected to formalise a programme to improve water quality.

He told the Horowhenua Lake Domain Board yesterday it had an urgent problem and a process needed to be formalised so work could be done, and quickly.

Jon Roygard from Horizons Regional Council had asked who needed to give permission for the regional council to put in a monitoring device to test the lake's water quality.

He was told permission was needed from the Lake Domain Board for putting the device in and from the lake trustees to secure the device to the bottom of the lake.

"It seems you need permission to put things on the lake, under the lake and probably over the lake too and it's one of the most ridiculous things I have seen," Sir Wira said.

More effective ways of dealing with hurdles had to be found and the accord would do that, as other accords for the Manawatu and Waikato rivers had done, he said.

He had already started meeting with stakeholders and he expected to have enough information for a formal accord to be drawn up by the end of October.

Sir Wira is a former soldier, senior public servant and writer.

Dr Roygard confirmed that about 80 per cent of the external phosphorus found in the lake comes from the Queen St drain that includes Levin's stormwater.

He said the lake's water quality could be improved quite quickly due to it being a small catchment.

"It will take time, but not as much time as, say, Taupo or Rotorua."

There was also the problem of pest fish damaging the environment for native species, and perch eating organisms that help keep the lake healthy.

Manawatu Standard