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Environment Canterbury To Proceed With Temporary By-law For Lake Ruataniwha.

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Environment Canterbury is to proceed with a proposed temporary by-law for Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel. The new set of navigation safety regulations will be trialled on the lake over the summer period beginning on Saturday, December 12, 2009.

This follows a strong response from the public, with a high proportion of submitters, 59 out of 71, supporting the proposed changes.

The main features of the temporary regulation include closing The Bay area of the lake to powered craft, allowing all craft to travel at five knots or less when within 50 metres of shore (currently 200 metres), new zones for launching and landing of water skiers and the removal of the jetski only area. The original proposal has been amended to provide power boat access to the outer island on the south side of the lake.

Environment Canterbury navigation safety committee chair Cr Bronwen Murray said that it was very pleasing to have so many positive submissions, which indicated that the Council has been responsive to the safety issues raised at the lake. The majority of submitters saw the by-law changes as an important step in improving water safety.

"The changes benefit all water users, both powered and non-powered activities," said Cr Murray.

"While several of the submissions opposing the by-law were concerned at the potential loss of access for power boats and the removal of the 'Jetski Only' area, the need to ensure the safety for the majority of users on this small lake was the driver in proposing the new regulations."

"However, Environment Canterbury also recognises that Lake Ruataniwha is a small lake and used for a wide variety of activities, including rowing, swimming, water-skiing and fishing, so there was a need to find a balance for all user groups. The amendments that have been put forward strike that balance."

The proposed by-law will be included in a full review of the Canterbury Navigation Safety By-Laws in 2010 providing an opportunity for further public feedback.

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