Lake Te Koo Utu Draft Concept Plan
Lake Te Koo Utu Draft Concept Plan
Mahere ana mō ngā uri whakaheke - Planning for future generations
Located in the heart of Cambridge, the Lake Te Koo Utu reserve is a unique and significant space characterized by its numerous walking trails, heritage features, picnic areas and scenery. For residents, it is an escape from the bustle of town, a place to get some fresh air, and a space to share with family and friends.
Last year, through the Cambridge Town Concept Plan Refresh, we asked Cambridge residents what was most important to them for the future of Cambridge. They told us that improving natural health of the lake and telling its history was a top priority.
We went away and talked to landscape architects, ecologists and engineers, our mana whenua partners and the Society of Arts, Racquets Club, Bowling Club, Girl Guides Cambridge and the Cambridge Community Board, to create a long-term vision for the future of Lake Te Koo Utu and a legacy for Cambridge.
Now it’s your turn to have your say on what Lake Te Koo Utu should look like in the future.
Interactive map and Draft Concept plan
Check out our interactive map to see what we are proposing. By clicking on the numbers, features and different colored areas you'll see what we would like to maintain, restore or change. You can also have a read through the Draft Concept Plan Lake Te Koo Utu and Lake Te Koo Utu Ecology, stormwater management and restoration options.
Key aspirations for the future of Lake Te Koo Utu
- Improve water quality of Lake Te Koo Utu, including the quality of the water flowing into Karāpiro Stream and the Waikato River,
- Acknowledge the historical and cultural significance - honor the history of place
- Enhance biodiversity
- Improve and increase the range of play and recreation opportunities
- Strengthen connections between Lake Te Koo Utu and the Cambridge community
Key changes proposed in the draft concept plan
In order to achieve this overarching vision the draft concept plan proposes the following key changes to the lake and the surrounding reserve:
- To formalise the wetland area at the western side of the lake which would help to improve the water quality by containing sediments within the wetland and filtering nutrients. This will also provide habitat for biodiversity.
- To create a bund which would separate the wetland area from the rest of the lake with a possibility for a board walk atop it. The board walk and other areas around the reserve would have educational signage erected providing interesting information about the ecology and cultural significance of the reserve and the lake itself.
- To plant native vegetation along the existing lake edge in place of the current retaining wall, which would prevent further erosion and help improve the lake’s water quality and ecosystem.
- To create ‘The Meeting Place’ – a covered Pavilion function space which would provide a flexible venue for community gatherings and family celebrations with the potential for a small commercial activity. It will also serve as a representation of cultural significance of the site.
- Playgrounds – updating the playground on Thornton Road and installing a new natural playground grounded in ecology and Māori traditions and history on the lower terrace.
- Transform the gateways to the reserve – including a gateway at the eastern side of the lake to represent mana whenua’s identity, heritage and culture
Tell us what you think
We would love to hear your thoughts on what we are proposing. Once you’ve had a look at the plan, let us know what you think by filling out this survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TeKooUtu before 5pm, Monday 13 July 2020.
You can also pop into one of our Council offices and pick up a copy of the survey.
Got some burning questions?
Where to from here
After we have collected all of your feedback, we will work on an updated Lake Te Koo Utu Concept plan, which will be presented to Council for consideration. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress.
History and cultural significance of the lake
Lake Te Koo Utu was formed by an ox-bow in the Waikato River which was created when Taupo volcano erupted and pumice alluvium from the eruption blocked off a tributary to the Waikato River. Inputs to the lake were largely natural until Cambridge township stormwater runoff was diverted into the lake from 1882.
Lake Te Koo Utu has spiritual, cultural, traditional and historic significance to mana whenua. Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā have a long association with Lake Te Koo Utu, the lake was referred to as the “Oko Horoi” or, the wash bowl, by Kiingi Taawhiao. Some say that it refers to the sorrow of land confiscation, others to the activities of the Indigenous Land Court in Cambridge. There are other references to the ceremonial washing of wounded in the waters of the lake. For Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā Lake Te Koo Utu is an important connection with the Kiingitanga