Submission on the application by the Central South Island and the NZ Fish and Game Councils for a WCO on the Rangitata River
The Special Tribunal
C/- Ministry for the Environment
South Island Office
PO Box 1345
28 February 2001
New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association (hereinafter NZRCA)
C/o Maree Baker
- The New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association (hereinafter NZRCA) is the national representative organisation of canoe clubs and individual recreational kayakers throughout New Zealand. The NZRCA is an incorporated society and is affiliated to the New Zealand Canoe Federation, which in turn is affiliated to the International Canoe Federation.
- Currently there are approximately 20 member clubs with a membership of approximately 800. The total number of canoeists in New Zealand greatly exceeds the number of members of the NZRCA and the numbers are continuing to increase. Outdoor recreation programs at polytechnics along with many high schools and outdoor education centres now all include canoeing in the syllabus.
- The NZRCA is committed to long-term sustainable management of New Zealand's water resources. The association is a nationally recognised body that has continued to be actively and constructively involved in resource management processes.
- All members of the executive of the NZRCA are volunteers.
- The NZRCA supports the application for a National Water Conservation Order on the Rangitata River:
- The Rangitata River is a nationally significant recreational resource in terms of white water kayaking.
- The NZRCA supports a Water Conservation Order for the whole of the river, from source to sea, as such an order will protect the tributaries to the river that contribute to its recreational qualities, and the outstanding wild and scenic characteristics of the river which contributes to its amenity values.
- The specific sections of the river which are of high value to recreational kayakers are as follows:
- The Rangitata Gorge is a medium volume, grade 4 to 5 (advanced) river trip, through an impressive scenic gorge. It is one of the most accessible runs of medium to high difficulty in the South Island. It is frequently run by kayakers from Canterbury and Otago. It is also well regarded nationally by kayakers.
- The section from Klondyke to Peel Forest Campground is a very popular beginner to intermediate section, grade 2 to 3. It is used frequently by canoe clubs, Otago University School of Physical Education, Polytechs, individuals and other educational and recreational groups.
- The section from Peel Forest to Arundel is a safe section ideal for beginner kayakers, of grade 1 to 2.
- Sections of the Rangitata ranked very highly on a national scale in the 1991 River Survey, prepared by the NZRCA. As a result of the survey it is classified as important, and it is noted that it provides an experience exceeded by few other rivers.
- All of the sections of the Rangitata that are kayaked frequently offer an accessible, quality white water experience, in a wild and natural area. The combination of high quality white water features and outstanding scenic values are highly valued by recreational kayakers.
- The quantity of similar quality recreational, wild and scenic rivers are declining in New Zealand, and face frequent threats.
- The sections outlined above are suitable for many types of recreational kayaking. White water kayakers, slalom kayakers and multisport kayakers all use the river for training and recreation.
- Sections of the Rangitata remain accessible for kayakers even in times of high river flow, because the riverbank is not lined with willow trees as is common on many other popular kayaking rivers. This therefore makes it a more valuable resource because it can be used during a greater range of flows.
- The NZRCA support the provisions sought, as they will protect the recreational amenity and the outstanding wild and scenic characteristics of the river as they currently exist.
- The application is consistent with the purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991.
- The application recognises matters of national importance in accordance with section 6 of the Act, namely:
"Section 6: In achieving the purpose of this Act all persons exercising functions and powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources, shall recognise and provide for the following matters of national importance-
(a) The preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, (including the coastal marine area), wetlands, lakes and rivers and their margins and the protection of them from inappropriate use and development:
(b) The protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use and development:
(d) The maintenance and enhancement of public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers."
- The application recognises other matters of importance in accordance with section 7 of the Act, namely:
"Section 7: In achieving the purpose of this Act, all persons exercising functions and powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources, shall have particular regard to-
(b) The efficient use and development of natural and physical resources:
(c) The maintenance and enhancement of amenity values:
(d) The intrinsic values of ecosystems:
(f) The maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment:
(g) Any finite characteristics of natural and physical resources:
(h) The protection of the habitat of trout and salmon."
- I do wish to be heard in support of my submission.
- If others make a similar submission I may be prepared to consider presenting a joint case with them at any hearing.
New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association
Address for service of the applicant:
Barristers and Solicitors
Cnr Moray and Princes St
Private Bag 1959