Lake Resilience Programme

The aim of this research is to increase the capability of decision makers and managers to achieve favourable outcomes for lake health and resilience at a national scale, and to raise the level of knowledge about how lakes respond to environmental pressures and management solutions. The research direction has been guided by the

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) which involves managing lakes to limits set out in the National Objectives Framework. The research will contribute to the Government's proposal for improved national environmental reporting outlined in the Environmental Reporting Bill currently before Parliament. Healthy, resilient lakes will deliver important environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits to New Zealand and will reflect well-managed land use in catchments, supporting prosperous, sustainable communities. The research will help to optimise return on the major investments currently being made in freshwater management in New Zealand. It will create a transparent prioritisation process for selecting lakes and regions where major restoration actions can be targeted and effective. The research will also provide effective tools to help organisations, iwi and local communities to manage lakes to achieve limits.


A publicly accessible repository supporting the storage and retrieval of water quality and biological data measured in lakes, rivers and wetlands in New Zealand. It is part of the Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand (LERNZ) Project run by the Environmental Research Institute at The University of Waikato.

Real Time Data

Collection of data by telemetry is an effective means for continuous monitoring of environmental changes. We have developed and installed a weather station and lake buoys for monitoring weather and water quality variables.

Lake colour

lakes span close to the full global range of possible water colours; some lakes have a stable blue or yellow colour, while others vary strongly through the seasons, or because of the impact of agriculture, forestry, invasive species and climate change.