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.
(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.
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.
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.