Hawksbury Lagoon (HL) is situated within the East Otago town of Waikouaiti on the northern boundary of Dunedin City. The HL is a designated Wildlife Refuge under the Reserves Act 1977 and is administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). It is listed as an ‘Area of significance’ within the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council Plans. It is 51 hectares in size with a perimeter of 5km.
There is a small fishing easement within the lagoon set aside in 1868 by the Native Land Court with an ancilliary claim lodged in 1998 as part of the Ngai Tahu Settlement providing legal recognition of the rights to mahinga kai within the lagoon.
Hawksbury Lagoon Inc. is a group of local residents and includes a member from the Maori Reserves Trustees. The objectives of this group are to ‘enhance, protect and conserve the habitats of the wildlife and plant life within the environs of the HL and to encourage interest and appreciation of HL by local residents, visitors and special interest groups’.
Planting programmes are primarily financed by a range of charitable trusts.