Originally from South East England, I fell in love with the culture, history and nature of Aotearoa and made the move to New Zealand in September 2016. With a strong passion for conservation, along with a BSc Environmental Science from Canterbury Christ Church University (UK), I am keen to use my knowledge and mindset to help the Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust (LDCT) achieve their goal of a better lake for all.
I am now the community engagement coordinator for LDCT after they recently secured $1million in funding from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) as part of the ‘Jobs for Nature’ funding programme. LDCT aims to build a community vision for the lake and work with territorial authorities to enhance shared objectives. The trust has been working to raise awareness about the dire need to improve and maintain the water quality and shores of Lake Dunstan since it was filled in 1993.
My role is to share the voices and ideas of the community with those responsible and put the community at the forefront of the future plans for the lake. There is a lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to the care and improvement of the lake. I want everyone to have full access to this information with regular updates on projects, legislation and meetings with stakeholders through our website and facebook page.
I will also be establishing community projects that focus on cleaning, improving and creating activities that locals and visitors alike can enjoy. Such projects I aim to create are lake-side clean ups, planting days and a pest control plan as well as any others you may think Cromwell needs. These all aim to develop the involvement of the community, schools, charities, iwi and local companies that all want to see a future where the lake is a healthy haven for all who live and visit the area.
Cromwell is unique in that their lake is less than 30 years old. Although there has and remains a lot of controversy behind the lake, it's here to stay. We however have all the opportunity to make it what we want and need. I see it as a place to spend the summers swimming, exploring nature, getting fresh air as well as an escape for mental-wellbeing. Now more than ever we are aware that climate change along with habitat loss is a serious problem globally. At LDCT we know that change starts at home, meaning we all need to look after the environment so it can look after us and future generations.
I will be full time and based in the Connect Cromwell office during the week. I am reachable by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and am looking forward to getting fully immersed into the community and seeing Lake Dunstan become the healthy and shared space the Cromwell community and wildlife deserves.
Support the cause and stay up-to-date with LDCTs progress by following our Facebook page ‘Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust’ and become a friend on our website www.lakedunstan.org.