Watch the August River of the Month video from LAWA – Land, Air, Water Aotearoa

At 138ha and 16m deep, Lake Humuhumu is one of the largest dune lakes on the Poutō peninsula. It’s diverse range of native flora and fauna, lack of pest species and good water quality make this one of Northland’s most outstanding lakes. Work by local people, supported by councils and DOC, are helping to protect and enhance this amazing part of New Zealand.

These groups are working collaboratively to protect the lake from pest fish and invasive water weeds. Farmers are fencing their land so cattle are not grazing on the water’s edge, protecting it from erosion. DOC are planting the area, which helps to stop fertilizer from leeching in to the lake. Kaitiaki for Waikaretu Marae have been planting for the last 10 years working alongside DOC, Iwi and local schools. The trees are encouraging a greater number of habitats for fish species, they bring the birds in and feed the Manu (winged creature including cicadas, butterflies).

Aleesha Bennet from Kaitiaki for Waikaretu Marae says, “I’d like to protect and look after the lake for future generations and I’d like greater involvement from our Rangatahi (young people) – get them in and teach them how to look after the lake”.

Colin French –Kena also from the Marae says that looking after the lake will keep the history of the area alive.

“If it’s yours you look after it. If we don’t carry on what our tupuna (ancestor, grandparent) did, then our mokopuna (grandchildren) aren’t going to. It a role we have to play and they will inherit it off us.”