This week, with the passing of the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Bill, the National Government has fundamentally undermined Water Conservation Orders in Canterbury, reneged on their environmental credentials and taken an unprecedented step towards allowing developers free access to the Hurunui River.
Since 1991 the Resource Management Act, through Water Conservation Orders, has provided a robust mechanism for ensuring that our most important rivers have been protected.
CUMEC #10 is available now, and features an interview with Andy Fuller, Whitewater Frontiers - The Indian Himalayas by James Thorp, Into the Jungle - Exploring Sumatra by Jared Meehan, Intermediate Independence - by Rachel Lynskey, Top Ten Tips - Creeking in Quebec by Josh Neilson, Quick-fire Interview - Lifeblood of the Nation, Events - Xmas @ Kaituna by Antz Longman, Technique - Cross Current Speed with Zak Shaw, Videography 101 - with Wayne Johnson, Paddling Fit - Pins & Needles by Megan Foster plus news, event reports, the gallery, competitions a
Alan Hoffman reports that the Tekapo Release this weekend has been cancelled due to the high level of Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. Consequently the Pukaki spillway will be discharging 140 cumecs from now until next week, including this weekend.
Ben Jackson announces the goods for Buller Festival 2010. Friday March 5 - Kayak Boater Cross on Murchison's endangered Matakitaki. Saturday March 6 - Kayak Slalom (individual and teams), Rafter Cross and the 'famous as' Rock the Buller Party. This years party theme is TBC so stay tuned. Sunday March 7 sees us release kayakers back into the wild via our new and improved Big Air Ramp. This year's event also sees the New Zealand Rafting Selections for the World Champs.
Stefan Gilmour advises the Wairoa Extreme Race is going to be back for 2010. It is going to be a one-day race format with the time trial starting at 10.20 sharp, and the head-to-head races starting at the conclusion of the time trail. The event will be held on Saturday 13 February 2010 with Sunday 14 being a back up day, and or fun event day such as a ball race (to be confirmed). Entries will open in early January with the entry cost to be confirmed.
The latest NZ Canoeing has been sent to members, featuring Conservation news (Hurunui, Matiri, Mokihinui, CPW, Log books, Access) (Tony Ward-Holmes), A day on a wild river (Tony Ward-Holmes), The Upper Waiau River (Polly Miller), What is a river worth? (Jeremy Watt), Release schedule. Read more in NZ Canoeing 09.3 (PDF, 5.2Mb).
Commissioners have indicated in a Minute (issued 18 December) that consents for the Stockton Plateau hydro project have been approved. The project is likely to slightly reduce the number of days on which the Ngakawau is boatable, but the water quality will be improved by the removal of mining pollutants. The project was supported by Whitewater NZ, as the 240GWh expected from the scheme makes a Mohikinui dam less necessary.
Genesis Energy have advised that the Rangipo Power Station is planned to be shut down between the 7th and 18th January 2010. Based on past years, the flow below Rangipo dam will be approximately 19 cumecs (including the discharge from the Waihohonu tunnel). The increased flows will affect the Access 14 and Access 13 sections of the Tongariro River.
Across the country, the organisations involved with Wild Rivers are hosting a "Day on a Wild River" to help everybody understand the beauty and importance of New Zealand's remaining wild rivers. Over the weekend 28-29 November, events including raft and kayak descents, fishing, bush walks and tours, environmental talks, picnics and bbqs will occur at various locations.
Antz Longman advises, CUMEC Magazine issue #9 is out now featuring Canadian Summers, Creeking in Val Sesia, Italy by Justin Gale, interview with Mike Dawson on the Sickline World Championships, Interview with Cooper Lambla on 12 months in NZ, Voss Extreme week by Jason Juno, The Southern Circuit (NZ) by Megan Foster & Crescent Head/Byron Bay (AUS) by Tracy Gibson, Murray White Water Festival from Western Australia.
Whitewater NZ Conservation Officer Tony Ward-Holmes advises, "The Central Plains Water Commissioners have issued "Minute 11" (PDF, 453KB), which in their words is "in effect an interim decision." The decision is that the remaining consents (apart from those for the Waianiwniwa reservoir which were previously turned down) will be granted.
Gordon Rayner advises another speed limit uplifting has been arranged to allow jetboats to travel on the Upper Shotover on Sunday 1 November. There will be 8 to 10 jet boats, travelling upstream through the Upper Shotover Gorge from Skippers bridge to McLeod's during the time corridor of 11am to 12pm. The jet boats will travel downstream from McLeods to Skippers bridge during the time corridor of 2:30 to 3:30pm. The jet boat organiser is Pete Steele (027 2650078).
A speed limit uplifting has been arrange to allow jetboats to travel on the Upper Shotover on Sunday 25 October only. There will be 10 to 20 jet boats, travelling upstream through the upper Shotover Gorge from Skippers bridge to McLeod's during the time corridor of 11am to 12pm. The jet boats will travel downstream from McLeods to Skippers bridge during the time corridor of 3 to 4pm. The jet boat organiser is Dave Douglas from Danseys Pass (027 4361314).
According to the Press, the Hurunui Water Project have placed their resource consent applications for a dam and weir on hold for a year, to allow the processes established under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy to try and resolve issues with the scheme.