Kayakers from all over the North Island were looking forward to the Mangahao River dam release scheduled for Saturday 18 March, after many years of non-releases, ostensibly to repair the dam gate. Unfortunately at 8am on Saturday the dam operator informed Whitewater NZ that the gate failed to open when required.
Tasman District Council have granted Hancock Forest Management a temporary closure of the Motueka River in a ~5km section of the Motueka River from near the Northern end of Aratapu Road to McLeans Reserve (between 172°47.380 / -41°17.633 and 172°48.564 / -
(Updated) Timberlands Forestry have advised that they will be tree felling next to the Rangitaiki River approximately 400m downstream of the power station and as such are restricting public access to the river from 7am till 4pm during work days (Monday to Friday). There will be a security guard present at the power station enforcing this closure. This will not affect weekend or after hours access. For more information, contact Jody Thompson 0274 664 150.
Pirongia kayaker Sean Curtis, 20, drowned on Wednesday 2 March after getting into difficulties on the Collier's Gorge section of the Whitcombe River. He was submerged for 20 minutes and was unconscious when recovered. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
The crowd-funded kayaking documentaryRivering New Zealand premiere showings will be held in Christchurch (3 March), Auckland (17 March) and Okere Falls (19 March). Rivering has been led by Bill Parks and Glenn Murdoch with contributions from many others.
Whitewater NZ has joined with Fish & Game NZ, Fish & Game Hawke’s Bay, Forest and Bird, Jet Boating NZ and Ngati Hori ki Kohupatiki to seek a Water Conservation Order (WCO) for the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers in Hawke’s Bay.
Gordon Rayner of Central Otago Whitewater reports that around 100 kayakers and rafters attend the protest paddle, meeting at the Dogleg put-in with the Kawarau River running at 180 cumecs. "Do Little and Dogleg rapids were going off," Gordon said.
Last week Matt Bennett made a submission on behalf of Whitewater NZ to the Coroner's inquest into the death of Louise Jull on the Kaituna River. John Snook also made an independent submission. In doing so they became party to all other submissions (currently confidential). Whitewater NZ has sought professional legal counsel to aid in our submission.
[Updated 12:50pm] Czech kayaker Ladislav Švarc, 29 drowned on Saturday 19 July while running a waterfall near Puketitoi Rd in Northland. Švarc was boating with three friends on the Wairau River when he got into difficulties at the base of the falls. Despite being pulled from the water and given CPR he did not survive. Švarc was an experienced kayaker having run challenging sections on other North Island rivers.
On Saturday 14 June, Whitewater NZ held a successful AGM at University of Canterbury, Christchurch to review the previous year and to plan new initiatives. Following the election of officers to the Executive Committee, James Rae moves from Safety to Access, and we welcome Shaun McCracken and Aaron Osbourne as Safety and Education officers respectively. Thanks to departing Exec members Sean Bellamy (Access) and Aidan Haig (Education) for their hard work.
Kawarau Jet Services Holdings Ltd (KJSHL) has applied for a resource consent (14MB, PDF) to extend its operation from the Arrow River confluence down to the Kawarau Gorge suspension bridge (the bungy bridge). This would mean they would run down through Smith’s Falls, on the first stretch of the Dogleg kayaking and rafting run on the Kawarau. KJSH are requesting unlimited trips with a fleet of 12 jetboats.
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.