Rangitata Water Conservation Order, 2001

This evidence supporting the case for a Water Conservation Order on the Rangitata River is by Doug Rankin.
  1. Introduction

    Personal statement omitted
    1. I have been a keen canoeist for the past 30 years and am a life member of the University of Canterbury Canoe Club. I served as a committee member for many years, as Club Captain for 2 years and as President for 3 years. I have also held the position of Conservation Officer for the New Zealand Canoeing Association (Inc). I was awarded the Canard Cup this year by the New Zealand Canoeing Federation for my efforts in assisting the New Zealand Canoeing Association (Inc) (now the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association (Inc)) to secure a National Water Conservation Order for the Buller River.
    2. I have kayaked extensively on rivers throughout the South Island of New Zealand including the Buller and its tributaries, the Kawarau, Rangitata, and Hurunui, and have had a number of trips on rivers in more remote and inaccessible areas eg, the Motu, Whitcombe, Whataroa, Karamea, Waitoto and Landsborough. Many of these rivers are considered amongst the best whitewater rivers in New Zealand. As well, I have kayaked in Europe on some of the well-known whitewater rivers including the Rivers Inn, Isel, Leiser, Moell and Sanna in Austria, and also in the USA on the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River.
    3. My kayaking experiences have involved me making many trips over the years. Many have involved extended river journeys for a number of days, taking camping equipment in our boats. The trips have involved paddling with very experienced groups of expert paddlers to helping guide beginners down rivers on club and other trips. I regularly paddle with friends on whitewater up to Grade 4 in difficulty.
    4. I have long had a strong interest in the conservation of waterways in New Zealand. This interest has been increased over the years after traveling in Europe where I saw the demise of many waterways, which had been harnessed to meet man's needs. I also know of the loss of other superb waterways elsewhere overseas. As a result of the pleasure I have gained from kayaking over the years I support the protection of a representative number of New Zealand's outstanding waterways for future generations to enjoy as I have.
  2. Scope of this Evidence

    1. I have been asked to present evidence today in support of the NZRCA's submission, in support of the application for a Water Conservation Order over the Rangitata River. I intended to appear before you alone but have now have joined the NZRCA case to present evidence, as the areas I originally intended to cover overlap with areas the NZRCA wishes to cover.
    2. I will present evidence in the following areas: my personal connection to the Rangitata River; some general information on kayakers and canoeists and what and how they use features on a river; a physical description of the sections on the Rangitata River used by canoeists, and features they contain; the relationship between flows and hydraulic features in river sections and the flows wanted by paddlers; wilderness and scenic qualities in the Rangitata Catchment; some images of kayaking and rafting on the Rangitata River; the value of features in the main canoeing sections, regionally and nationally; a description of the threats posed by further irrigation or hydroelectric power development in the Rangitata Catchment; and finally a short section requesting a Water Conservation Order be granted. I hope this evidence will be helpful to you for understanding our reasons for supporting the application for a Water Conservation Order.
  3. Personal Connection to the Rangitata River

    1. I have had a long association with the Rangitata River over the years and want to share with you some of the canoeing history and my experiences. The latter over the years have given me a tremendous amount of pleasure.
    2. The first time I boated on the Rangitata river was 30 years ago in 1971, when a friend, John Parsloe, took me on a trip from the Klondyke intake down to the Cracroft intake with about four other people. We were all paddling canvas canoes.
    3. None of us had any mentors to teach us how to run rapids or paddle, we learned by the school of hard knocks. Mine came pretty quickly. I fell out in the second rapid; I panicked and abandoned everything, not what you were supposed to do! I fetched up in a rock in the middle of the river, and wasn't that impressed when someone suggested I had to jump off and swim to the bank to get my gear. I wasn't a good swimmer!
    4. I eventually jumped, swam to the bank, gathered my gear up and ran the next rapid, not sure of what I would find. Halfway down huge waves bowled me over again. The trip leader by this stage was wondering what sort of lemon he had on the trip and the lemon was wondering how he was going to survive the next 20 or so rapids that I knew were further down the river! Fortunately I managed to survive the rest of the river trip without falling in again. It was my second ever river trip and I haven't looked back since.
    5. After this I returned to the Rangitata on numerous club trips with the University of Canterbury Canoe Club, which I joined while at University. The Club focused on introducing people to canoeing and in the early days the Rangitata River was one of the big challenges for any beginner boater. The Club had an interesting history with the river. On a club trip in 1970 about ten canvas boats (half the club fleet) were destroyed in some rapids around one corner just down from Klondyke!
    6. On a trip in 1972 one of the Club's better paddlers was baptizing a new fibreglass boat he had just purchased. In the second rapid down from Klondyke he slammed into a rock, bounced off his seat popping off his sprayskirt, and his boat filled up with water. It rotated around across the rock and broke in two from the force of the water. Darryl was stuck in the front of the boat the whole time and wasn't too happy!
    7. On a trip in 1973 I can remember we set off at Klondyke when the flow was too high. We immediately had numerous people out of boats swimming in the big water. Rescuing was really difficult with the river so swift and the water was very big (six foot standing waves). Sadly we ended up putting off quite a few would-be club members. Half mile swims in a cold flooded river can be pretty frightening and put off even the keenest of beginners! We abandoned the trip after about 1 mile of travel.
    8. Besides these incident filled trips we had many fantastic and memorable trips. Sometimes they were in bitterly cold conditions but on other occasions they were in gloriously fine blue-sky days in the warmth of summer. The Rangitata was one of the rivers that beginner paddlers always found challenging particularly because of the size of the water.
    9. Around 1973 people's attention turned to the Rangitata Gorge and the difficult rapids it contained. We walked up to have a look that year when it was really high and I concluded only the insane would ever have a crack at it. I didn't run it until about 10 years later.
    10. Visiting Auckland University Canoe Club boaters were amongst the first to run the gorge. Fibreglass boats were now around and Tony Wallis was the first to attempt the run. At the end of his descent he got firmly stuck in Harry's hole and he had to abandon his boat and swim out. His boat came out tens of minutes later!
    11. A year later six kayakers from the same club ran Klondyke Falls, the first big rapid at the gorge entrance in a low flow. This was in the days before the Falls were blasted by the Army to make travel for the salmon (and boaters) easier, and which produced the rapids we know today as Rooster Tail and Pig's Trough. All of the kayakers got stuck in the hole at the bottom of the falls. They all had to swim out of their boats, which were then mercilessly end looped in the hole and had three feet broken off each end. One of their boats had the words 'pox' emblazoned on the hull. A classic photograph was produced with a pile of 6 shattered and shortened boats with the hull of the named one exposed, with their somewhat chastened owners standing behind and rueing their run down the Falls.
    12. In 1974 an Invitation Canoe Slalom was held on the Rangitata River, on the third rapid down from the Klondyke Intake, as part of the 1974 Commonwealth Games. I traveled down to watch and photograph the event. In those days the rapid was narrower and steeper and contained some good waves and produced a good slalom course.
    13. My first trip down the Rangitata Gorge was in 1983, after I had finally plucked up the courage to visit the infamous run. It was only the preserve of real experts and I wasn't at all sure I could handle it. I joined two American boating friends Bo and Kathy Shelby, both kayakers, and Graeme Boddy, paddling a small Lancer raft. We had a late afternoon run down the river in May. The river was high and it was cold.
    14. The flow was high, probably about 150 cumecs, and was very intimidating for me. All the rapids down to Rooster Tail contained big waves, which were great fun. Rooster Tail constituted a big slide with diagonal breaking waves coming off the sides of the Gorge walls. We ran it by punching the true right diagonal wave and catching the eddy at the bottom of the rapid. The eddy was surging up and down about 1-2 feet because of the flow.
    15. After inspecting the rest of the Gorge I portaged the rest of the Pinch with Kathy. We watched Bo and Graeme run down the Pinch. There were big pour-overs on all the rock ribs poking into the river flow and Arlene's Hole and Harry's Hole were completely buried under water. Just above Harry's Hole the drop was guarded by a large surging and occasionally breaking wave about 8 feet high. Off the back of this the river dropped down a large slide and into a hole and then continued down through the Slot. The whole pinch was full of big surging water, certainly not the domain of the faint hearted or anyone swimming.
    16. Bo made it look easy in his kayak but then he is one of the world's top paddlers. He said the water was very pushy. Graeme managed to stay upright too, although he was almost completely buried, raft and all, in the hole just above the Slot.
    17. In subsequent trips down the Gorge I have run some sections and walked some, depending on what the water looked like and how I was feeling. In 1984 on my second trip I spent some time being vertically looped in Harry's Hole. I managed to get past Arlene's Hole but then misjudged my line into Harry's Hole. I slammed into some rocks in the hole and dropped into Harry's hole sideways. While bracing sideways in the hole my paddle was blasted out of my hands, and rather than abandon my boat and risk a very unpleasant swim I elected to stay in my boat.
    18. The boat and I then went into 'washing machine mode'. After about six end over end rotations (loops) I decided I would need some air. The next time I saw some light I grabbed a breath, and relaxed again. I continued for another six more loops. The feeling was strange; I was completely immersed in water so powerful that there was little I could do. I could sense I was being moved across the face of the hole, and knew that I should get flushed out sometime.
    19. After about the twelfth loop I felt myself vertical underwater and moving. I knew I had finally been flushed out of the hole. I couldn't hand roll so I popped out of my boat swam to the surface and swam with my boat to the bank. I had just had the worst trashing I had ever had in a river and I was happy to be alive!
    20. I am sure my experience pales into insignificance compared to the stories some could tell. I have heard of people getting trapped in Arlene's Hole well underwater, and to have the uncanny experience of someone also in the hole trying to climb up them to get out! In very high flow Denis McLaughlin ran the Gorge by himself and found a six-foot high breaking wall of water preventing him from leaving a large pool area at the bottom of the Pinch. Under normal flows this feature is never there. He had to surf out a number of times right across the wave to try to break through it and finally managed to. Before that he had countless rolls in the huge water down through the Gorge. Most of the normal features in the river were completely absent.
    21. Whenever I run the Gorge it is an issue for me. The difficulties in the water are at the edge of my comfort zone, so I find it a significant challenge. My throat is normally dry. Running this sort of water can be hazardous. A number of paddlers have had very bad swims down it and even dislocated shoulders in the powerful rapids. Some of the sections are badly undercut and have sieve potential, where a trapped person could easily drown, and so they need to treated with considerable respect.
    22. This history will give you some idea of just one person's experiences with the river. They only tell part of the story though. They don't describe the feelings of fear and joy that running such water can bring, of the pleasure of boating with other people down rapids, supporting and helping one another. Canoeists invariably have a strong spiritual connection with rivers. They also rely on each other for safety, rescue, advice and ultimately themselves for surviving in the elements.
    23. The challenges and experiences offered by the sport are wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed years of peaceful, and sometimes not so peaceful, relaxation on the Rangitata and other rivers, sharing my knowledge and skills with beginners and experts alike. It is difficult to put into words the experiences one has had, and convey all the aspects, which combine to make it so enjoyable. They cover everything from the natural beauty and power of the rapids in a place like the Gorge, to the fun in floating down the easier rapids in the lower river, surfing on waves, playing in holes, enjoying the colours of the rocks and water around you, and seeing other people around you enjoying themselves.
  4. Kayakers and Canoeists, Who Are They, How They Use Features on a River?

    1. Kayakers and canoeists who paddle on rivers, often collectively referred to as canoeists or paddlers, use and require different river features depending on what activities they are participating in. Kayakers use glass fibre or Kevlar fibre reinforced plastic, or plastic (polyethylene and other plastics) craft called kayaks, which they sit in and paddle with a double-ended paddle. Canoeists use similarly constructed craft called canoes in which they kneel, but that are paddled with a single bladed paddle.
    2. In the remainder of this submission I use the term 'canoeists' or paddlers to mean both kayakers and canoeists.
    3. Today canoeists partake in a variety of paddling activities on rivers including flat water racing, downriver and wild water racing, touring, play boating, slalom paddling, rodeo paddling, steep creek boating and whitewater paddling. Each branch of the sport requires its own specialized craft. Modern materials, and especially the use of polyethylene plastic to manufacture very strong plastic ('tupperware') boats, which started only 20 years ago, have revolutionized the sport from even what it was 10 years ago.
    4. All branches of the sport involve using the water hydraulic features in a river, but often in different ways, and have quite different flow and riverbed requirements. Except for flat water racing, all facets of the sport rely on moving water and rapids providing an exciting pathway down a river. A paddler 'reads' the water they are descending and chooses a route or line down the river, which will give them the most fun and satisfaction. This might mean the fastest route of descent for whitewater and slalom racers (the later through an ordered course of gates mounted above the river) or that offering the greatest technical challenge, fun, adrenalin rush or safest route for a whitewater, steep creek boater or touring paddler.
    5. A number of hydraulic features exist in rapids that paddlers need and prize. These include standing waves (like ocean swells), breaking waves or haystacks, holes or stoppers (recirculations formed behind submerged rocks or bed features which tend to stop and hold canoeists), eddies (pockets of water behind bank and bed features where the water moves in a different direction to the main current), eddy lines (boundary lines between eddies and the main current), and waterfalls. The size and power of such hydraulics depends on the flow down the river, the gradient (or steepness) of the bed and the roughness and features in the bed (rocks, bedrock).
    6. Paddlers travel through these hydraulic features, playing on them or sometimes avoiding them at all costs. Some of them can form serious hazards to canoeists (eg, big holes that don't release paddlers, waterfalls, steep rapids), thus offering a serious challenge to a boater wishing to pass through them. This is the ultimately the challenge for all canoeists of whatever ability.
    7. Safely negotiating or playing on a rapid containing a variety of water and bed features, reading and using the water to enjoy the thrill and exhilaration of surfing on standing waves, playing in holes (end looping the boat end over end, cartwheeling, doing flat spins and numerous other rodeo moves), running drops or just plain surviving a run down through a miasma of crashing water is what it's all about. For beginners the water may be smaller to give a certain level of excitement and for experienced paddlers they may get their satisfaction from running big water or big drops.
    8. It takes expert tuition, training and a lot of experience to make a good paddler of any discipline. Physical strength can be an asset but it is not necessary, technique and ability are generally more useful. Basic skills like the ability to Eskimo roll (self-right a capsized canoe) are essential for tackling certain water. Paddling takes you to hidden places amongst beautiful scenery (wilderness sometimes) that many people never see. On a river you are the master of your own destiny.
    9. Paddling is always done in groups, because if you accidentally get caught on a rock or pinned on a log or in a rapid, or take a bad swim, your only chance of rescue is normally with the people you are with. This breeds a strong camaraderie amongst paddlers, who rely on self-knowledge, experience and skill, both in terms of looking after themselves and their paddling companions on a river.
  5. Physical description of the river sections used by paddlers on the Rangitata

    1. The Rangitata River collects waters from the Southern Alps from its tributaries the Havelock, the Clyde and the Lawrence. These rivers drain the glaciers and ice plateaus of the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Allah, which provide glacial flour to the river, giving the river its typical grey/blue colour and temperature at certain flows. The upper reaches of the river are extensively braided but they then become a single channel as the river flows down through the Rangitata Gorge. When the river emerges from the Gorge at Klondyke, where the Rangitata Diversion Race begins, the river returns to a broader riverbed, although often confined to a single channel for much of its way down to Peel Forest. Below Peel Forest it braids again, and remains so essentially to the sea.
    2. The reaches of river used by canoeists are primarily the run down the Gorge, the run down from Klondyke to Lynn Stream, Peel Forest or Cracroft Intake and sometimes the run from either of these two points down to the Arundel Bridge. The Rangitata Gorge is a demanding run, which is essentially the preserve of expert intermediate and advanced whitewater paddlers, because of the difficult rapids it contains. The other runs are suitable for beginner and more advanced paddlers.
    3. I have taken a few words from Graham Charles' description of the Rangitata Gorge in New Zealand's classic whitewater guidebook [1]. "In this short but intense gorge Glacier, Pencil Sharpener, and Tsunami lead up to the first of the hard rapids - Rooster Tail, heralded by a good horizon line, prompts a scout from most teams. Below 70 cumecs the Pig's Trough (hole at the bottom of Rooster Tail) is at its stickiest. The next rapid, The Pinch, has a number of named features but is essentially one rapid making up the main part of the gorge. It used to be the home of Harry's and Arlene's holes, but in 1995 a large chunk of bedrock collapsed into the river. Harry and Arlene were sent to hole heaven" (the latter is actually still there, it has reformed; DAR's note)", leaving Hell's Gate in their place, considered to be a little less intense than its forebears. Shortly after it is a tight constriction of boily water called the Slot, and that's about the end of it. ..." This description really only describes the upper whitewater sections, the river continues on down through picturesque gorge with a few more rapids and much higher walls in places, to finally emerge at Klondyke.
    4. The gorge where the difficult rapids are located is surrounded by broken greywacke rock walls, which are not particularly high, and is an unusual feature. Much of the rock is smooth and water worn but some is broken and shattered. The ground above the Gorge is covered in scrub, tussock and matagouri, the whole vista in this area having a barren remote feel, with ochre colours typical of the dry foothill ranges of Canterbury. None of the other large Canterbury rivers have such a gorge containing such intense whitewater, as the rivers burst through the foothills and onto the Canterbury plains. The run is about 10 km long and is graded class IV+ to V (see 6.2 and Appendix I for a definition). It is canoed at flows of 40-350 cumecs and contains excellent 'big' water.
    5. The difficult rapids in the Pinch in the Gorge have become somewhat easier in recent years and the 'fearsome and hard' reputation has diminished a little. Harry's Hole, which could be very mean and was always unavoidable, if paddling, has gone. Arlene's Hole has mellowed a little due to the formation of Hell's Gate and there is a sneak route to avoid it. The shelf that forms the drop into Pig's Trough Hole has also crumbled on the right hand side thus making this drop easier when the hole is present. These features could change again in the future though.
    6. An excellent surf wave is produced at the top of Pencil Sharpener in flows around 50 to 120 cumecs. Such a feature is highly prized by expert paddlers. Another way that the Gorge is accessed is by paddling up (by eddy hopping) from the Klondyke Intake. This gives access to the last few rapids of the Gorge section to play on, or alternatively, by traveling further up the river and portaging to the top of Rooster Tail, the main big rapids can be run. This is easy to do at flows up to 130 cumecs and offers a great option if time is short, conditions are cold, or one wants to avoid the long shuttle or a full length trip.
    7. The run from Klondyke to Lynn Stream or Peel Forest (or just opposite Peel Forest at Cracroft Intake) is totally different. It is the most widely used stretch on the river and of grade II difficulty, although some waves in high flow possibly approach grade III [2]. Graham Egarr [2] comments "The shingle chute rapids of the Klondyke section consist of stony banks with a main path of fast-moving current ending in large standing waves. Most rapids have strong back eddies that can be difficult for novice paddlers. Floods tend to move the small boulders and rocks about so that conditions change from trip to trip. In some places large boulders create isolated holes and waves that need to be avoided. Most rapids are a straight run down with little to avoid."
    8. The run down from Klondyke to Lynn Stream or Peel Forest is very unusual in that it features a bed with a relatively steep gradient (Table 1), unlike most of the other runs on braided shingle bed rivers on the Canterbury plains. This is ideal for paddlers because it creates better whitewater and accounts for its popularity. The bed is lined with good-sized boulders, particularly in the upper section of this run and at many of the rapids, reflecting this gradient, and for most of the run the river is confined to a single channel. Rapids in this run sometimes include long stretches of bouncy water (depending on flow) and long runs punctuated by steeper sections of gradient, providing waves down these rapids and at the bottoms of the rapids where standing waves are common.
    9. The run from Peel Forest down to the Arundel bridge also has a relatively steep gradient for a braided river, but does not offer such good whitewater. The gradient is relatively uniform down the whole riverbed, but with the gravels in the bed generally being smaller than those in the Klondyke run, the reach does not have the same run and whitewater features as in the upper river. The river is also slightly more braided in this section. Consequently this latter run is less sought after and used by whitewater paddlers, except perhaps beginners and downriver racers. This section would only be of Grade I - II difficulty.
    10. The types of boating carried out on the Rangitata River mainly involve groups of paddlers of different ability levels doing day trips down the various runs, mainly in modern plastic boats. Groups will normally stop and play on hydraulic features at appropriate spots. There are many club trips to the river, which often have a beginner/training/introduction to whitewater emphasis. Clubs also run trips through the Gorge for more accomplished paddlers. Some downriver racing events are also held on the river below Klondyke. These activities are discussed more by other witnesses.

    Table 1. Gradient in the bed of the Rangitata River over the popular canoeing runs

    Reach Gradient
      (Feet/mile) (Metres/km)
    Gorge (overall) 31.7 6.0
    Gorge (difficult rapids) 68.6 13.0
    Klondyke to 1100 foot contour 50.8 9.6
    1100 foot to 1000 foot contour 29.2 5.5
    1000 foot contour to Lynn Stream 24.7 4.7
    Lynn Stream to Peel Forest camp/Cracroft 34.8 6.6
    Peel Forest camp/Cracroft to 700 foot contour 36.8 7.0
    700 foot contour to Arundel Bridge 32.6 6.2

  6. Relationship Between Flows and Hydraulic Features and Canoeing Opportunities in the Rangitata River

    1. To produce the water hydraulics and rapids that canoeist's value, there must be sufficient flow and gradient (drop in elevation per unit length, often expressed in feet/mile or metres/kilometre), in a river along with a suitably confined and structured bed. The greater the gradient the less this flow needs to be to produce valuable boating. If, however, the gradient is not high, having large flows can create valuable boating, although a certain level of gradient has to be present along with bed or bank features to produce rapids.
    2. This complex interaction between water flows and the bed of a river produces rapids of varying technical difficulty and with different hydraulic features, eg, boils, eddies, waves, holes and stoppers. The difficulty of canoeing on water with these features is described by river grades given to different reaches of water or rapids (Appendix I).
    3. As flows increase grades tend to increase because the water in rapids becomes more powerful. This is reflected in higher water velocities, increased heights of standing waves, increased sizes and power in boils, holes and stoppers, and greater turbulence. This offers a greater physical and mental canoeing challenge, and often makes the water more interesting for the experienced paddler. This is true of most of the rapids on the Rangitata River.
    4. It should be noted that in some cases paddlers do not always want higher flows. Less experienced paddlers may find high flows too daunting and they may make some reaches of rivers very dangerous. Also rapids are washed out in too high flows and the features that make them valuable are changed and lost. A good example of this is on the run down from Klondyke. When the flows are too high a lot of the wave trains in the run/drop rapids in the river become washed out and disappear. Water velocities in the river become too high and eddies at the bottom of rapids become washed out too, removing many of the features that paddlers can play on.
    5. In general, as river flows decrease so does the degree of difficulty of negotiation and interest to a paddler. In lower flows river hydraulics reduce in size and power, heights of waves drop, velocities drop and the canoeing challenge declines. This is true of rapids in the Rangitata River system. In some cases though, grades may increase, because a specific hazard develops, eg, Pig's Trough at the bottom of Rooster Tail becomes a more pronounced hole at flows below 70 cumecs and more difficult to negotiate.
    6. The grades given for the various reaches of rivers in sections 5.4, 5.7 and 5.9 reflect their degree of difficulty in medium to high flows. In flood flows these grades are normally higher because of the danger and difficulty of boating such water. Thus the Rangitata offers canoeing water suitable for the beginner (Grades I and II) through to the most experienced of paddlers (Grade IV and more depending on flow).
    7. The gradients in these reaches also vary. The relatively high gradients in the main rapids in the Gorge produce outstanding rapids with powerful hydraulic features.
    8. A special feature of national significance on the Rangitata Gorge is the technical difficulty and 'big' or 'high volume' whitewater to be found. This type of whitewater offers excitement and a supreme technical challenge to experienced boaters and is highly prized. This is always present in the Gorge under its natural flow regimes and is always accessible.
    9. 'Big' water is typified by large waves, big holes and other powerful river hydraulics and is found in rivers with sufficient gradients, confined channels and flows of about 50 m3/s and greater. 'Big' water is rare in New Zealand because of the size of our country and river catchments, and the loss of a number of large rivers and rapids to hydro-electric power developments.
    10. Rivers where 'big' water is also found include the Buller and some of its tributaries, the Kawarau, Whitcombe, Perth, Whataroa, Landsborough and the Karamea. However, many of these rivers are only realistically accessible by helicopter, and so are not readily accessible. 'Big' water is found sometimes in rivers with sufficient gradient during flood flows.
    11. No systematic studies have been done to determine the flow requirements for canoeists, and how the whitewater features present change with flow, in the different reaches of the Rangitata River. As is evident from the preceding sections, this is really required to truly understand canoeist's flow preferences.
    12. Graham Charles [1] indicates flows of 40 to 350 cumecs are suitable for running the Gorge. Kayakers/rafters interviewed by Mosley [5] reported similar ranges of flows, with flows in the Gorge of 80 to 120 cumecs offering the easiest kayaking. From my own experience I would concur with these flows. Flow preferences will depend on the paddlers ability and the type of whitewater experience they prefer.
    13. For the run from Klondyke down to Lynn Stream or Peel Forest preferred flows are in the range 80 to 150 cumecs. The flows are similar to those suggested by other paddlers interviewed by Mosley [5]. They will depend upon the level of experience of the paddler. More experienced paddlers normally prefer higher flows, as river hydraulics are normally larger and more of a challenge to play on.
    14. A river flow of 80 cumecs corresponds to a flow of 50 cumecs in the riverbed below the RDR, because of the 30 cumecs removed by the RDR. Below the RDR a flow of 50 cumecs left in the river starts to become too small to be interesting except perhaps for beginners. At such low flows very few water features are present to play on, limited whitewater is created and just enough water is provided for canoe passage.
    15. One recent Sunday (14 October) I traveled down the river in a group of 13 kayakers from the Whitewater Canoe Club from Christchurch. The flow at the gauge was about 60 cumecs, the RDR was drawing off 26.2 cumecs, leaving 33.8 cumecs in the river. At this flow there was only one good hydraulic feature on the river, where a surfing wave was present in the 4th rapid down the river. Passage down the river was still possible and beginner paddlers in the group had an enjoyable time but for the more experienced paddlers in the group higher flows would have been much more interesting. The comment was made that the flow in places was starting to get low enough to cause difficulties for boats negotiating the river, and especially for downriver racing boats, which would have hit a number of rocks in the bed.
    16. Paddlers will often prefer a variety in the flows on the same stretch of river from trip to trip, so that the river offers a different experience on the different days it is paddled. In some cases, where a particular flow might produce a particularly good playing feature(s), then canoeists may prefer to have the same flow from trip to trip. Subtle changes in flows can have a big impact on the hydraulic features produced in a river. Always having the same flow, such as in a controlled release, is not necessarily the best way to produce the best whitewater experience, especially if it is not an optimal flow.
    17. Dr Mosley [5] discusses in section 5 of a report prepared for Environment Canterbury, the desirable flow regime for the natural character of the Rangitata River. He discusses the desirable characteristics of a managed flow regime and proposals for a managed flow regime.
    18. Dr Mosley suggests 'our aim should be to develop a complete flow regime, rather than simply to establish minimum flows, as has often been the case in the past.' He then goes on to say 'As the heaviest recreational use of the river is during December to march,\ and 50 cumecs is a flow that is regularly cited as an acceptable minimum for most recreational purposes, a realistic minimum flow series to cater for ecological and recreational requirements might be: December-March 50 cumecs, April-July 20 cumecs and August-November 35 cumecs.'
    19. Such a minimum flow regime would better meet the needs of canoeists, in the runs from Klondyke down, than that under the Rangitata River Management Plan 1986-1996, the provisions of which are still observed. The latter aims to maintain minimum flows of 20 cumecs in summer (10 September to 10 May) and 15 cumecs in winter (11 May to 9 September).
  7. Wilderness and Scenic Qualities in the Rangitata River Catchment

    1. The Rangitata Gorge provides a wilderness type experience to the paddler. This is an experience of isolation from the trappings of our normal urban environment, where normal intrusive noise from motor vehicles cannot be heard, where evidence of human presence is not obvious, and one is confronted at river level with an unmodified natural environment. This is found in the Rangitata Gorge where the road is well away from the river. This wilderness experience adds immensely to the canoeing experience and is a valued attribute of the Rangitata Gorge.
    2. Although not as spectacular as some of the gorges on other East Coast Rivers of New Zealand, eg, the Clarence River Gorges or the Waimakariri Gorge with its towering cliffs through Carrington Gorge, the Rangitata Gorge does have a stark beauty of its own. The colour of the glacial river water, the grey and black colours of the rock on the river banks and cliffs and gorge walls so typical of the greywacke sedimentary rock of our East Coast rivers, contrast starkly with the grey colour of the matagouri, greens of shrubs and ochres of tussock on the surrounding hills.
    3. In 1979 a scenic evaluation of 64 New Zealand Rivers was published by the New Zealand Canoeing Association [3]. Dr Mosley referred to this in his review of the literature on scenic values of the Rangitata [5], but did not provide much detail. I have provided more detail because I think it is the only good across New Zealand study of its type to have been published, and provides some useful data on the ranking of the scenic qualities of the Rangitata River, relative to other rivers throughout the country.
    4. The authors, Graham and Jan Egarr and John Mackay, used an assessment procedure that took account of vegetation, banks and riverbed, landscape wilderness feeling, water quality, water movement and other factors on 64 (actually 63) of New Zealand's major rivers, drawing on the methodologies of similar studies carried out overseas. The assessment was restricted to an evaluation of 142 distinctive sections of the rivers, and was a subset out of a total of 1500 rivers examined throughout the whole country by Graham and Jan Egarr in a survey of river recreational values/use [4]. The assessment [3] was also designed to expand the one-word assessments of scenic value contained in the latter report [4].
    5. Each factor was ranked on a scale (in most cases from 0 to 4) and the rankings summed to give an overall ranking of dull (0-3), ordinary (4-6), interesting (7-9), impressive (10-15), or exceptional (16+). This produced five comparative rankings at a national level.
    6. Only four of the 142 sections of rivers received the top score of 18 (Upper Buller Gorge, Grey River Gorge, Hollyford River (Gunn's Camp to Little Homer), Motu River Gorges). Rivers with a score of 16 or higher were then bracketed into an 'exceptional' category and resulted in a list of 'exceptional' rivers of New Zealand, which comprised parts of 5 North Island River systems (Kaituna, Motu, Rangitikei, Wanganui and Tongariro) and 5 South Island systems (Clarence, Kawarau, Hollyford, Grey and Buller).
    7. The distinct reaches of the Rangitata were ranked as indicated in Table 2. These rankings are comparable to those found for comparable stretches of other similar East Coast South Island rivers.
    8. The Rangitata Gorge had a total ranking of 14, ascribed as 'impressive' amongst a total of 55 'impressive' and 17 'exceptional' reaches of rivers throughout the country. The total rank of 14 placed it at 32= amongst the total of 72 'impressive' and 'exceptional' reaches throughout the country. The three gorges on the Clarence (Gates of the Clarence, Middle Clarence and Sawtooth Gorge) were ranked at 17, 15 and 16 respectively, Maori Gully and the Hawarden Gorge on the Hurunui at 14 and 15 respectively, the Waimakariri Gorge at 15, the Rakaia Gorge at 12 and the Waiau Gorge at 10.
    9. The Rangitata Gorge received a similar 'impressive' scenic ranking (second highest to 'exceptional') in the field survey published by Egarr and Egarr in 1891 [4] of 1500 of New Zealand's waterways on the scenic and recreational values of New Zealand's waterways. The scale for scenic value in this assessment included dimensions of vista, grandeur, solitude, naturalness, colour/texture, water quality and river spectacle, and physical attributes relevant to recreational suitability such as water movement and riparian vegetation. These attributes were summed to give six overall rankings with the following descriptors (ranked in order); dull, uninspiring, moderate, picturesque, impressive and exceptional. Values for the Gorge and other reaches on the Rangitata are summarized in Table 2.
    10. The scenic rankings of the different reaches of the Rangitata from the Recreational River Survey were similar to those of the 64 New Zealand Rivers Survey, as might be expected. The ranking schemes were not identical for the two surveys, hence the statement that the results are similar. No summed ranks are published for the scenic categories defined in the Recreational River Survey [4]. It is thought that the mapping or correspondence between the six scenic categories in this survey and the five of the 64 New Zealand Rivers Survey [3] will be as follows: exceptional is similar to exceptional, impressive is similar to impressive, picturesque is similar to interesting, moderate and uninspiring are similar to ordinary, and dull is similar to dull, respectively.
    11. The data from the scenic assessments in the Recreational River Survey were not finally ranked across the country in the same manner as that done for the 64 New Zealand Rivers Survey. The former scenic assessments were combined with recreational values to determine combined scenic and recreational values for rivers (or stretches of rivers) throughout the country. These values were biased towards recreational values. Four categories of rivers were identified, describing those most valued under Category A, through to those not as highly valued in Category D.
    12. The Rangitata Gorge and the reach from Klondyke down to Peel Forest were both placed in Category C. These Categories were assigned on the basis of the high and exceptional recreational and impressive and picturesque scenic values respectively for these two reaches of the river. (Note: The recreational values for a river or a river section were ranked on a scale of insignificant, low, intermediate (average), high and exceptional.) In the Recreational River Survey there were 6 rivers in Category A, 20 rivers in Category B, about 68 rivers in Category C and about 85 rivers in Category D. This means that on the basis of the combined scenic and recreational values determined at the time the Rangitata Gorge and Klondyke to Peel Forest runs were amongst the top 92 river sections of the country.
    13. As discussed in a report prepared for Environment Canterbury [5], Mosley [6] has published a survey on public perception of river scenery based on the evaluation of 200 colour slides of river scenes. This survey did not include any photographs of the Rangitata River or its features and did not give any rankings for the Rangitata River. Dr Mosley [5] infers the Rangitata Gorge and other sections of the Rangitata will have scenic values similar to other South Island East Coast braided rivers, sections of some of which were photographed in his slide set.
    14. Having seen some of the images at a presentation by Dr Mosley on his work, and being an amateur photographer myself, I have reservations about this method of assessment. In particular the slides had no scales on them and I know how difficult it is to capture the grandeur and many other aspects of scenery in a photograph. Some masterful photographers can make an ordinarylooking image of a river scene look absolutely spectacular because of unusual lighting or composition.
    15. Dr Mosley concludes Quot;the Rangitata's scenery is not unique, although parts of it, particularly above the Gorge (my emphasis), could well be described as outstanding. Each part of the river is similar to equivalent sections of other rivers in Canterbury (and elsewhere), and much of the river is likely to receive low to moderate scores in terms of public preferences for river scenery".
    16. Whereas in part these statements may be true for some of the braided reaches of the river, I would disagree with the implication that the Rangitata Gorge is similar to the gorges on the Waimakariri, Rakaia, Hurunui, and Clarence Rivers etc. Having traveled through them all I know they are very different in size, scale, grandeur, water features, and as other authors have done [3,4], I would rank them differently. Thus, I feel that this study only gives limited general information about the scenic values of the Rangitata River relative to other rivers throughout the country.
    17. Boffa Miskell Ltd has produced a report for Environment Canterbury on the natural character, landscape and amenity of the Rangitata River [7]. This report did not involve any public consultation or surveys nor cite any literature, photographed limited parts of the Catchment and commented in very general terms on what the photographs showed. As for Mosley's assessment [5], no data is presented to show how the Rangitata compares to other rivers in Canterbury or New Zealand. I don't know if the authors visited or saw the Gorge containing the whitewater sections, they actually show no photographs of it.
    18. I find a number of statements in the report to be not substantiated by evidence. On page 28 it is said "in this report it is assumed that the Rangitata is an outstanding natural feature". Yet in the conclusions the authors comment "However, there is a body of landscape assessment literature that suggests that the Rangitata may not be an outstanding river for aesthetic reasons within the meaning of the RMA, 56(6) or S199". The authors do not discuss or reference any of this literature in their report and so I would strongly question the validity of some of the conclusions it draws.
    19. From my own wide range of paddling experience and having had the opportunity to visit many of the waterways of New Zealand, including many not readily accessible and some in more remote areas, I do feel that the relative assessment of the scenic qualities of the Rangitata compared with other rivers throughout the country as made by Egarr, Egarr and Mackay [3] is probably true today, as it was when made around 1980. Unlike recreational values, which can change with time as new craft, skills, and activities emerge and are developed, scenic values are probably more 'static' and do not change so much with time. In particular, the 'impressive' scenic classification, placing the gorge 32nd equal in the top 40 reaches of major rivers in New Zealand, is important and adds to comments later about the national significance of this piece of water.

    Table 2. Scenic rankings for reaches of the Rangitata River

    Reach 64 New Zealand Rivers Survey [3]* Recreational River Survey [4]
    Upper Rangitata Interesting (9) Picturesque
    Rangitata Gorge Impressive (14) Impressive
    RDR to Peel Forest Interesting (9) Picturesque
    Peel Forest to mouth Ordinary (6) Uninspiring

    * Values in parentheses are the summed ranks for the factors discussed in 7.4 and 7.5 from which overall ranks were derived. See text for definitions of rankings and for reasons why no summed ranks are available for data from reference 4.

  8. Images of Paddling on the Rangitata River

    1. I have assembled a selection of slides from my own and 2 other collections to illustrate some river features and canoeing (and rafting) activities on the Rangitata River.
    2. At the Klondyke get in, ready to go on a warm summer's day.
    3. At the bottom of the 2nd rapid down. Note the big boulders at the bottom of the rapid, they are not as large at present. Such large boulders at higher flows create good holes, pressure waves or breaking waves for playing on.
    4. Don Paterson surfing a wave below the 2nd rapid in 1978. At this point in 1974 the river was narrower and contained a lot more whitewater features. This was where the 1974 Commonwealth Slalom was held.
    5. Don Paterson side surfing the same wave.
    6. Looking back upstream below the third rapid.
    7. Downstream from the 3rd rapid, note the large boulders in the bed.
    8. Getting a tailstand on a wave below the third rapid.
    9. Ian Russell getting amongst some conflicting water where two streams meet.
    10. Rest stop on a University of Canterbury Canoe Club trip.
    11. At the Cracroft Intake get out, opposite Peel Forest camp ground, circa 1978.
    12. Get in on a New Zealand River Runners raft trip down the Gorge, 1984.
    13. Higher water on the Gorge run at Pencil Sharpener in 1983 on my first trip down the Gorge. Note paddlers on the bank in this view looking upstream. The water was grey and very cold on this late afternoon run and the flow was an estimated 150 cumecs.
    14. River Runners raft on top wave in Pencil Sharpener 1984.
    15. Greg Landreth sliding over same top wave.
    16. The bottom of Pencil Sharpener in medium flow, probably around 90 cumecs, on the River Runners trip 1984. The feature that gives this rapid its name is a shallow shelf of rock at the bottom of the rapid, which folds the water over into a corkscrew. You have to avoid falling out in the shallow water flowing over this shelf, or you will hurt yourself, and then watch the corkscrew of water, or it will neatly rotate you upside down at the bottom of the rapid.
    17. Bo Shelby (hat and paddle just visible) in the bottom wave of Pencil Sharpener in high flow on our 1983 trip. In this flow the normal wave at the bottom of Pencil Sharpener was replaced by a large eight-foot high standing wave.
    18. Looking down Rooster Tail and Pig's Trough in high flow in 1983 trip. Both normal features in this rapid are completely buried under the high water, making the run much easier but still intimidating, as the water is quite large and moving very fast. The aspect of this photograph flattens the height of the drop and does not show the size of the water well. Note kayakers in the distance in the eddy on the right at the bottom.
    19. Kayaker in fiberglass boat lining up to run Rooster Tail (the wave giving this rapid its name is just visible out to the right) circa 1976. Low flow conditions, about 60 cumecs.
    20. Raft lining up to run Rooster Tail, the wave splayed off a rock and giving this rapid its name is clearly visible kicking up out to the right. Flow about 90 cumecs.
    21. Kayaker in fiberglass boat sliding into Rooster Tail, low flow.
    22. Kathy Shelby punching the breaking diagonal wave in Rooster Tail at high flow. Big, fast, powerful water.
    23. Raft down Rooster Tail, 90 cumecs.
    24. Kayaker emerging through the wave on Rooster Tail.
    25. Greg Landreth about to get a wet face in Rooster Tail in medium flow. Note height of water.
    26. Peter Weir in the slot in Rooster Tail about to get wet.
    27. Murray Watson sliding down over Pig's Trough after a successful run through Rooster Tail in medium flow. Note in this flow Pig's Trough is completely filled in and easy to run.
    28. Kayaker visiting the 'green room' in Rooster Tail in low flow.
    29. Kayaker in Pig's Trough immediately below Rooster Tail, low flow. Note rope across river for rescue if needed.
    30. Made it! Bottom of Pig's Trough.
    31. Kathy and Bo inspecting the Pinch at high flow in 1983. The rocks they are standing on have now partially collapsed into the river, removing Harry's hole.
    32. Looking up the Gorge in late afternoon sun on our May 1983 high flow run down the Gorge. It was starting to get cold.
    33. Bo sliding down a big tongue in the Pinch in high flow. Note the pour-overs out on the right with large holes at the bottom of them, a place you avoid at all costs. You may not be able to get out of one of these hydraulics if you got into one. At this high flow a swim down the Gorge out of your boat could be fatal. You have to stay in your boat.
    34. Bo running the diagonal wave beside a ten-foot high breaking wave (not visible) where Arlene's and Harry's holes would normally be. In this high flow they are completely buried. Pushy water according to Bo, not for the faint hearted and not water you would want to swim in!
    35. Graeme Boddy catching an eddy in high flow just above the 10-foot high breaking wave (not visible) where Arlene's and Harry's holes would normally be.
    36. Graeme just before he was flipped in the hydraulic just below the ten-foot high breaking wave (not visible) where Arlene's and Harry's holes would normally be. He clambered back aboard very quickly after he was flipped.
    37. Kayaker down the Pinch in low flow (60 cumecs). Note the rocks visible on the side, which were completely buried in the 150 cumec flow.
    38. Rolling up after being bowled by a wave.
    39. Upright again.
    40. Crossing to avoid a hole.
    41. Running Harry's hole in low flow.
    42. Raft running Arlene's hole in medium flow.
    43. Myself sneaking Arlene's hole in medium flow.
    44. George Barton running Arlene's Hole in very low summer flow, about 40 cumecs. Note size of drop in river. Even in very low flows the river remains powerful and a serious challenge to passage. In this flow Harry's hole did not exist, the rock rib that formed it extended out from the bank into the river. Negotiation of this section of river was the most difficult part on the Pinch.
    45. Swimming out of Harry's hole after getting stuck in the hole. This hole was well known for holding onto paddlers, it was not by any means assured that you could run it cleanly. The pour over into the hole could under certain flows be six to eight feet high and it could be pretty intimidating if you were stuck in the hole.
  9. Value of Features in Canoeing Sections, Regionally and Nationally

    1. The canoeing values of and opportunities offered by the 'big water' rapids in the Rangitata Gorge are similar to those offered by other nationally important rivers with significant whitewater and canoeing values, and that have Water Conservation Orders on them. These rivers are the Motu, Mohaka (pending), Kawarau, Buller and Rangitikei.
    2. Other rivers in New Zealand also offer such prized whitewater, including the Karamea, Whitcombe, Whataroa, Perth, Landsborough and Waiatoto, but many of these are in remote areas and only accessible by helicopter.
    3. There were significantly more stretches of similar 'big water' rapids on other rivers in New Zealand prior to large scale HEP development in a number of Catchments. Rapids such as the following used to exist:
      • on the Waikato, Rainbow, the Mile-long at Atiamuri, Whaka-heke ('Flying Canoe') were drowned behind the Ohakuri dam;
      • on the Waitaki, the once great mad gorge is now straddled by the Benmore and Aviemore dams;
      • on the Waiau that used to flow out of Lake Manapouri, a number of rapids were lost as water is now piped underground to a power station and then to Deep Cove;
      • on the Clutha, the biggest rapids at Island Basin Narrows and Doctor's Falls No 1 & 2 were drowned by the Roxburgh dam;
      • on the Clutha, the Clyde dam has now stilled the last big rapid on the Clutha, the Cromwell Gap, and the roiling Cromwell Gorge, and also drowned the Bannockburn Rapid and the once magnificent Sargood's Weir on the Kawarau;
      • the Pukaki Gorge and River was lost when the Pukaki was drowned.
    4. The Rangitata Gorge is the only difficult stretch of water very close to Christchurch and remaining in any of the large East Coast Rivers of the South Island.
    5. Based on my own experiences on the Rangitata and many other rivers I feel that the Rangitata Gorge is nationally outstanding for the canoeing values it has such as its 'big water' and challenging canoeing. Its scenic and wilderness values complement this ranking.
    6. The canoeing values of and opportunities offered by the run from Klondyke down to Lynn Stream or Peel Forest are significantly better than those offered by other South Island East Coast braided rivers, except for the lower Clarence from Glen Alton down to the sea. Only these two stretches have the high gradients, large rocks and water flows which produce the hydraulic features prized by canoeists. None of the other East Coast Rivers such as the Rakaia or Waimakariri produce such features and so do not offer alternative equivalent runs. People do travel from Dunedin and Christchurch to run the lower Rangitata River.
    7. Based on my own paddling experiences this run on the Rangitata is of regional significance, but it needs to be recognized that it is an unusual geological feature (see evidence of Timothy Sikma) and is of particular value to canoeists. This explains why it is used so much.
    8. Given the continuing demise of many other major rivers throughout the world being utilized for hydroelectric power and other development and many stretches of notable rapids being lost, it is worth noting that protection of rivers such as the Rangitata, and the rapids they contain, here in New Zealand could provide an asset for us in the future.
  10. Threat Posed to Canoeing Values by Irrigation or Hydro Electricity Power (HEP) Development in the Rangitata Catchment

    1. Irrigation or HEP development on the Rangitata River poses a major threat to the values treasured by canoeists, as is witnessed by the loss of many rapids from other river systems throughout the country. At present HEP development in the Rangitata is not being mooted as an option (although some of the water from the RDR is used for HEP generation at Highbank) but damming the river to create a water reservoir for irrigation purposes has been suggested. Conflict arises because the river features valued by paddlers and HEP or irrigation developers often are the same eg, rivers of appreciable gradient and water flow. Impacts from such developments could be serious.
    2. Harnessing waterways by damming or diverting them destroys the wild, natural and scenic characteristics of rivers. The presence of man-made structures such as canals, dams, penstocks or power generation facilities in river valleys contributes to the loss of these values.
    3. HEP or water storage schemes, which impound significant quantities of water, destroy free flowing reaches of rivers by permanently drowning them. Whitewater canoeists require free flowing rivers with natural flows, and these resources are diminishing rather than increasing in number.
    4. Schemes that involve the taking of substantial flows out of the Rangitata River for irrigation could impact negatively and severely on the recreational values of the river downstream from such take-off points.
    5. Schemes which involve impoundment or control of water (eg, of lake levels) in a catchment and the release of water back into that catchment, eg, for HEP or to the land for irrigation, are likely to smooth the natural variation in flows and replace this by a uniform flow. This would normally mean that flood flows will no longer flow down the river as these peaks will be stored for electricity generation. Therefore rapids downstream will still have water flowing through them, but these flows may no longer be variable so the canoeing opportunities will be reduced. If the flows are not optimal, the canoeing value of the rapids downstream may also be reduced or destroyed. Various flows are needed for optimal boating and unless these are provided and of sufficient magnitude then canoeing values could be destroyed.
    6. Controlled flows will also alter the natural river building and bed alteration processes downstream, which occur during major flood events. These natural events can be an important dimension to the canoeing value of a river. They can change rapids over time producing new features, which offer new challenges. They can also result in changes for the worse that may take some time to change. For example, the rapids just below Klondyke in 1974 were much better than they are now. Comments from paddlers recently [5] have suggested that this reach of the river has also been affected detrimentally by floods in 1994, but that the river is now slowly cutting its way down again and the quality of the rapids improving.
    7. I know that the issue before the Tribunal is a complex and difficult one, especially with regards to granting a Water Conservation Order, which might restrict further water being made available to farmers for irrigation use. If an Order is warranted, and it is felt that more water is needed in the river than is there at present, because the RDR removes a significant amount, then this could cause more conflict if the amount made available to the RDR were to be reduced. There is also a continuing expansion of dairy farming in the district, which requires irrigation for pasture growth.
    8. Perhaps it is time, now that it is clear that there is extreme pressure on water use in the Canterbury District, that more imaginative and rigorous methods be applied to allocating water. Water should perhaps have a charge made on it, only be used where it offers the highest return and only on appropriate soil types. It should not be used wastefully and only be applied by efficient application techniques. If farming offers the best return then the current HEP generation at Highbank at the end of the RDR should perhaps be stopped so that the water can be put to a more valuable use. Unless we apply imagination to such challenges we run the risk of taking the easy option and continuing to degrade our river resources until they no longer exist in a useful form for many parties.
  11. Concluding Comments

    1. The Rangitata Gorge contains a canoeing run of outstanding value and of national importance.
    2. I support a National Water Conservation Order being granted on as much of the river system as is possible to protect the outstanding significance of the system, and not just for the canoeing values. I ask that this order retain natural flows in the river system as much as possible, maintain water quality at its current natural levels and prohibit impoundment or control of waters by dams or diversions. I would also ask that the tribunal recognise the value of the canoeing run down from Klondyke to Peel Forest. I recognise that farmers may still want the RDR to take water from the Rangitata River for irrigation but if more flow can be left in the river for recreational users such as has been suggested by Mosley [5], perhaps even just on weekends, this could provide a better option for flow sharing than has been present in the past.
    3. Free flowing rivers are a diminishing resource in New Zealand. I urge the Tribunal to protect this outstanding Catchment for future generations to enjoy.


  1. Graham Charles, Aotearoa Wai Huka, New Zealand Whitewater, 120 Great Kayaking Runs. Craig Potton Publishing, 1999.
  2. Graham Egarr, New Zealand's South Island Rivers. A guide for canoeists, kayakers and rafters. Nikau Press, 1995.
  3. Graham Egarr, Jan Egarr and John Mackay, 64 New Zealand Rivers A Scenic Evaluation. New Zealand Canoeing Association, 1979.
  4. G D Egarr and J H Egarr, New Zealand Recreational River Survey. Part I. Methods and Conclusions. Water and Soil Miscellaneous Publication 13, 1981; G D Egarr and J H Egarr, New Zealand Recreational River Survey. Part III. South Island Rivers. Water and Soil Miscellaneous Publication 15, 1981
  5. M P Mosley, Rangitata River: Natural character, amenity values, and flow regime. Environment Canterbury Technical Report R01/23 (Revised Edition), September 2001.
  6. M P Mosley, Perceptions of river scenery. New Zealand Geographer, 45, 2-13, 1989.
  7. Boffa Miskell Ltd, Rangitata River Natural Character Landscape and Amenity. Environment Canterbury Report U01/18, April 2001.

Appendix I

The International River Grading System used in Doug's evidence is largely the same as that presented in Appendix B of Jonathan Hunt's evidence.