Kahurangi air access review

DOC is reviewing the Management Plan for Kahurangi National Park. The review proposes multiple restrictions on helicopter access to river such as the Karamea.

DOC have published a draft partial review of the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan.


The proposal includes restrictions on kayaker access:

  • 12 trips involving heli-access for kayakers across the entire park
  • A permit system for kayakers (and cavers) only
  • 4.2.A.7c Rafting/Kayaking (private)

    Twelve rafting/kayaking trips supported by helicopter landings have been allocated in any one year for private rafting or kayaking trips. Each trip comprises up to five landings in a three hour period and five landings in a further three hour period to disembark people and unload equipment. Individuals or groups organising a rafting or kayaking trip involving helicopter landings need to first apply to the Department for a helicopter landing permit and then present this to a helicopter operator who is authorised to land in the park. (p117)
  • Also refer Table B in Section 4.2.A (p118)
  1. Twelve trips is ludicrously small number. That number of trips could easily occur on the Karamea alone, let alone other rivers.
  2. DOC is introducing a permit system. This appears to be unnecessary bureaucracy. Can permits be organised at short notice to suit favourable weather and flow conditions? Will a charge be introduced to recover administration costs? Can permits be traded? Do they expire?

Other comments

  • Kayaking is described on p69
  • Air access is covered in Section 4.2.A
  • Kayaking is not listed as an air-supported activity in 4.2.A.5 (whereas Rafting, Caving and "Scenery appreciation" are).
  • DOC plan to Seek a bylaw that requires any group of more than 10 people wishing to stay in the park more than one night to obtain a permit. (p73)

Submissions close at 4pm on Friday, 4 September 2009.