Kayakers are advised that flood protection works are underway on the Water of Leith from February to May 2014. Otago Regional Council (ORC) works are between the Dundas St Bridge and the Union St Bridge. Part of the works entails extensive work in the river channel and on the right bank of the river. The works would at times be a hazard for river users and kayakers. Warning signs have been placed upstream. Attached maps indicate warning sign placements.
Kiwi adventurer Graham Charles has updated his guide to the best of New Zealand Whitewater. New Zealand Whitewater 5 is now available to order, direct from Graham at http://www.grahamcharlesnz.com/. The revised and expanded fifth edition contains information on over 180 great kayaking runs from easy float trips to full-on hairball, unscoutable gorge waterfall runs.
This year's Tekapo Throwdown will be held on the 26th and 27th of October (Labour Weekend) at the Tekapo Whitewater Centre. The social event encompasses a variety of fun and competitive events including; a Ball Race, Rescue Relay, Slalom and Freestyle. The 2013 event is being supported by Up the Creek Kayaks (Jackson Kayak NZ) and Cumec Magazine. More information at http://www.cumecmagazine.com/tekapo2013 soon.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, architect of the Resource Management Act has decried the changes in a report Protecting New Zealand's Environment (PDF, 1.3MB) writing, "The Government’s proposals will replace [sections 6 and 7] with a single list of competing considerations, under which principles protecting the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment will be consistently weakened, and principles promoting development will be consistently strengthened.
Whitewater New Zealand and Fish & Game have successfully appealed to the Environment Court to protect kayaking on the Nevis River from dam proposals such that by Pioneer Generation Ltd. The Environment Court decided (PDF, 7.8MB) that the kayaking amenity in the lower gorge of the Nevis River is outstanding and should be protected through a prohibition on damming.
This year the Whitewater NZ Annual General Meeting was held in Auckland on 11 May 2013, to which people came from far and wide. As people gathered into the Auckland University lecture theatre it was a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones over the mandatory coffee and home-made muffins kindly baked by our Auckland hosts AUCC.
All members and interested parties are welcome to join us for election of new officers, Canoeist of the Year, and discussion on topics regarding whitewater kayaking including, "How can Whitewater NZ help our member clubs with a focus on membership & the recent RMA changes."
"Proposed RMA reforms are of serious concern to kayakers and any other person that relaxes and recreates in the outdoors. The government's proposed reforms for the Resource Management Act and freshwater management pose a real threat to water-based recreation," says Whitewater NZ President Matthew Bennett in a media statement released yesterday. "They put at risk New Zealanders' values and quality of life."
The discussion document "Improving our resource management system" (PDF, 4.4MB) proposes to remove clauses protecting recreational amenity and add new requirements to provide for "renewable energy" and "provision of infrastructure."
Graham Charles is re writing NZ Whitewater for its 5th edition. He is interested in any new runs, changes, access, changes or issues - basically anything that might be worth noting to make this edition as useful as possible for locals and visitors alike. "Even new runs that will always remain the domain of locals; we should publish the fact that it is done and first ‘D’ etc. As we’ve all learned over the years – if we haven’t published it – we can’t fight for it." Feel free to contact Graham at email@example.com.
Central Otago Whitewater invites paddlers to the NZ Freestyle Kayak Nationals and the official opening of the Hawea Whitewater Park on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March. The weekend will be packed with fun and competitive events for paddlers of all ages and abilities. Saturday's feature is the NZ Freestyle Championships, but will also include Raft-a-Cross, King of the Wave and Best Move Competitions.
Cumec 18 is now available for your summer reading pleasure. Inside you'll find another great mix of articles covering the people and places that shape New Zealand and Australian kayaking. Find out what keep's Keith Riley focussed on his adventures, read about Shannon Mast's disjointed Madagascar expedition, and find out about some of the history of the mighty Kawarau River. Other articles include wearable cameras, scouting rapids and the Teva Lea race. Available now at all good kayak shops and select bookstores.
The inaugural Okere Enduro Race was held on the Kaituna River on Saturday 15 December. There were around 50 competitors who took up the challenge of paddling down and running up the standard rafting section for six hours continuously. Most competed in a relay team of three, but six hardy souls did the race solo. The Smooth Liners (Pete, Luuka and Tim) won the teams event with 24 laps under their belt. Jamie Sutton won the solo category by completing 21 laps in 6 hours.
[Updated: 13 December] On Thursday 29 November, some Otago kayakers enjoyed test flows on the Scott Shipley-designed course on the Hawea River. Several more weeks of commissioning work are anticipated. The Hawea Whitewater Enhancement Project is an outcome of the negotiations around Contact Energy's resource consents as mitigation for the loss of recreational amenity resulting from the Clyde dam, and in particular the drowning of rapids at Bannockburn, Cromwell Gap and the world-class Sargood's Weir.