Lake Ōmāpere Relationship Agreement signed

22 Dec 2023, 9:46 AM

Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Roto Ōmāpere (Lake Ōmāpere Trust) and Northland Regional Council have signed a Relationship Agreement to establish a formal, working relationship between the trust and the council.

Council Deputy Chair Tui Shortland says the agreement – signed Thursday 21 December – will support efforts to restore the mauri of the lake.

Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Roto Ōmāpere (Lake Ōmāpere Trust) Chair Tamaiti Wihongi, left, with Northland Regional Council Deputy Chair Tui Shortland and Chair Geoff Crawford at the Relationship Agreement signing.

It will see the parties working in partnership to improve water quality and biodiversity, “acknowledging outcomes that respect the cultural significance of Lake Ōmāpere to Ngāpuhi”.

“This signing marks a momentous occasion as we come together to demonstrate our joint commitment and recognition of the crucial role that the trust plays as the kaitiaki of Lake Ōmāpere and its waters,” Councillor Shortland says.

“This is another example of council’s strategic intent to partner with tangata whenua to achieve shared goals for the well-being of the taiao”.

The health of Lake Ōmāpere has been plagued over several decades due to changes in land-use management and various short-term interventions.

Te Roto Ōmāpere Chairperson Tamaiti Wihongi confirmed the agreement is an exciting beginning to the large amount of work ahead of the trust.

“This agreement signifies a solid commitment by both parties to continue the work carried out by the generations of whanau and community who have fought for the wellbeing of Te Roto Ōmāpere over the last century.”
“Once a food basket of Ngāpuhi, we would like to see our lake and its cultural significance restored, to support the wellbeing of our current and future generations.”

Council Chair Geoff Crawford says our water is a reflection of society.

“We are all passionate about getting in ‘boots and all.” “Working together to achieve a common goal is also very encouraging.”

The Lake Ōmāpere Trust will carry out public events throughout 2024 to provide whānau the opportunity to connect to, and support restoration of the roto (lake) with the support of Northland Regional Council.