20 March 2020
Students from Cromwell College and Mt Aspiring College won the top awards in the Lake Invaders School Video Competition.
The competition, run by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA), Boffa Miskell and the Otago Regional Council (ORC), encouraged students in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago Districts region to tell a story about their relationship with the lakes and how the invasive lakeweed, lagarosiphon, is affecting them.
Kees Johnson and Flynn Stuart of Cromwell College won first prize for their I am Lake Dunstan video. Toby Gunn of Mt Aspiring College won second prize, and Jack Phipps of Cromwell College was third.
Lucy Radford and Violet Davidson of Mt Aspiring College and Thomas Piebenga and Charlie Barnett of Cromwell College were highly commended.
The students won cash prizes and the top prize included a GoPro camera.
View the videos on NIWA's website - Lake invaders school video competition
The prizes were awarded at the Regional Lakeweed Forum held in Wānaka on 11 March. About 50 representatives from community groups, local and national government attended the forum.
Cromwell College teacher Karen Gallagher told the forum that the video competition helped students make connections between themselves, their community and their lake. “It’s great to hear our students speaking up for the environment and for the students’ voices to be heard,” she said.
Several New Zealand and United States experts spoke at the forum about the history of lagarosiphon in New Zealand, current aquatic weed management, the United States experience and what the future might hold.
LINZ and NIWA announced at the forum that they plan to enter into an MOU to formalise the partnership between the agencies.
LINZ Biodiversity and Biosecurity Director Dave Mole said LINZ was taking an integrated approach with NIWA and Boffa Miskell to lakeweed management in the lakes it manages.
“We are making headway in managing invasive weed in Lake Wānaka and Lake Dunstan. And we’re working hard to keep it out of Lake Wakatipu. It’s a team effort between LINZ, the scientific expertise of NIWA and the operational skills of Boffa Miskell,” he said.
LINZ Crown Property Deputy Chief Executive Jerome Sheppard said the forum brought together people with different perspectives but similar goals. “It was very positive to see the energy and appetite for collaboration among everyone at the forum.”
The student winners of the Lake Invaders School Video Competition in Wānaka.
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