Network Tasman has released an update regarding the outcomes of their pre-feasibility studies regarding hydro on the Matakitaki River. The good news is that kayakers' have been heard loud and clear by the company.
BlissFest 2009 is coming up (3 and 4 October) in Dunedin. This festival is in it's fifth year and features a variety of events including a boatercross, giant slalom and surf competition. There is also a themed party on Saturday night; come along dressed as something starting with the letter 'B'. Entry is $50 for the weekend. For more information visit www.nzfks.co.nz/blissfest.
The Canterbury Water Management Strategy was released on Thursday 3 September. This strategy will be pivotal for kayakers in Canterbury and nationwide as it is likely to govern water management in Canterbury for the foreseeable future, and set a precedent on the national scene.
In a review of the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan, DOC are proposing a yearly limit on trips (twelve, across the entire park), a restriction on landings, and a permit system for kayakers. This will affect access to the Karamea and other rivers such as the Anatoki, Slate, Waingaro and others. Nowhere in the plan are trips by kayakers identified as a source of user conflict.
[19 August] The Hurunui Water Project (HWP) has applied to Environment Canterbury (ECan) for consents to erect two dams on the Hurunui; a weir at the Lake Sumner outlet and a 75m dam on the South Branch. This will result in a clipping of peak flood flows and a general raising of natural low summer flows (to >40 cumecs), as water is released down through the upper river to allow a 32cu off-take down near Mandamus for irrigation. Despite the Tribunal recommending a WCO for the Upper Hurunui waters, the draft WCO offers no protection for the South Branch and is subject to appeal.
Whitewater NZ works to protect and conserve rivers, improve opportunities for kayakers to enjoy our whitewater resources safely, and protect public access to rivers for recreational use. Incorporated in 1957 as the New Zealand Canoeing Association (NZCA), the national association reorganised in the late 1990's as the NZ Recreational Canoeing Association (NZRCA). At the recent AGM it was agreed to rebrand as Whitewater New Zealand. We'll be rolling out the new brand starting with rivers.org.nz and NZ Canoeing.
Cumec Magazine Issue #8 (July 2009) is out now with a Safety and Rescue flavour, featuring an interview with Zak Shaw, 10 Lessons Learnt from the River, All the Way on the Whitcombe (Keith Riley), Come with me... (Nikki Kelly) plus columns on surf kayak technique, photography, river safety, shoulder instability and some great photos.