Consultants from Xyst, engaged by the Mackenzie District Council, received a report from Fire & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) identifying Lake Tekapo’s vulnerabilities to wildfire. This report identified four key risk areas including two blocks of Mackenzie District Council land, the Tekapo River and the Southern Forestry Blocks boarding Murray Place and Hamilton Drive.
Seeing the inherent risks facing local residents, visitors and property, staff started conversations with the Lake Tekapo Community Board. This continued with further engagement of the Lake Tekapo Community through public information nights, helping the public to become aware for what they can do to mitigate the risk within their communities.
This work has led to the removal of a number of highly flammable species including wilding conifers and silver beech. It has also lead to the cutting of a firebreak between the Lochinvar subdivision and Highview Lane, bordering the Tekapo River in an area with a high recreational value and trail networks.
Ongoing works and community engagement continue, which will likely lead to additional firebreaks in the area to mitigate the risks posed by wildfire.