Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

Kahurangi air access review

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DOC have published a draft partial review of the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan.

Issues

The proposal includes restrictions on kayaker access:

  • 12 trips involving heli-access for kayakers across the entire park
  • A permit system for kayakers (and cavers) only
  • 4.2.A.7c Rafting/Kayaking (private)

    Twelve rafting/kayaking trips supported by helicopter landings have been allocated in any one year for private rafting or kayaking trips. Each trip comprises up to five landings in a three hour period and five landings in a further three hour period to disembark people and unload equipment. Individuals or groups organising a rafting or kayaking trip involving helicopter landings need to first apply to the Department for a helicopter landing permit and then present this to a helicopter operator who is authorised to land in the park. (p117)
  • Also refer Table B in Section 4.2.A (p118)
  1. Twelve trips is ludicrously small number. That number of trips could easily occur on the Karamea alone, let alone other rivers.
  2. DOC is introducing a permit system. This appears to be unnecessary bureaucracy. Can permits be organised at short notice to suit favourable weather and flow conditions? Will a charge be introduced to recover administration costs? Can permits be traded? Do they expire?

Other comments

  • Kayaking is described on p69
  • Air access is covered in Section 4.2.A
  • Kayaking is not listed as an air-supported activity in 4.2.A.5 (whereas Rafting, Caving and "Scenery appreciation" are).
  • DOC plan to Seek a bylaw that requires any group of more than 10 people wishing to stay in the park more than one night to obtain a permit. (p73)

Submissions close at 4pm on Friday, 4 September 2009.

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