Te Waihora - Laker Ellesmere - Canterbury New Zealand
Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora is located in the Canterbury Region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is actually a broad, shallow lagoon located directly to the west of Banks Peninsula, separated from the Pacific Ocean by a long narrow sandy spit called Kaitorete Spit, or more correctly Kaitorete Barrier. The lake holds high historical and cultural significance to the indigenous Māori population, especially as an area for food gathering. The traditional Māori name Te Waihora, means spreading waters. It has officially had a dual English/Māori name since at least 1938. It is also a nationally significant wetland home to a large number of native species and introduced waterfowl game birds. Some of the native species present are rare and threatened. The lake suffers greatly from agricultural pollution (nutrient enrichment and effluent run-off), but a management programme is slowly restoring its natural health.