Rangitaiki River

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I have sent this to the MSA investigator today and will keep all informed as to the outcome.

Hi Joanne,

My name is Kayne Satchell. I am a friend of Alex Graham who was killed during a private rafting trip on the Rangitaiki River last month.

Since, we have realised that there is some concern that there maybe plans to remove the rock that may have played a part in her death. At this stage we understand that these plans are somewhat preliminary and may also have an element of hearsay attached to them.

As you will be aware this part of the river has been used frequently both privately and commercially for recreational purposes by Kayakers, Rafters and Fisherman for a number of years and until recently has been free from serious accidents.

As friends of the deceased we are upset that this beautiful part of New Zealand has been in-part responsible for the death of Alex (And Brenda Kraaij, two years previously) but do-not agree to the geographical destruction or alteration of the natural waterway around Rock "A". It seems that the majority of the recreational users of the Rangitaiki are stringently opposed to any plans regarding the above. Any alteration to the riverbed will have an impact on many different levels. From a safety point of view, the river has moulded its own path over the years and the sudden change in the direction of flow around Rock "A" may result in the formation of a new and possibly more dangerous hazard. (It is not far to Rock "B" another undercut hazard) The change of any riverbed will have a dramatic effect on the native and resident flora and fauna that live in the vicinity, not to mention the aesthetic change of the location for all users.

We now ask that our concerns be considered when any decisions are made or plans drafted over this matter. I am sure that all the users of the Rangitaiki will have some form of input or opinion as to the making safe of this part of the river without the invasive actions proposed at this early stage. Prevention is in education and we believe that the education of those whom use the river is a task that can easily be achieved.

I understand that the investigation into this incident will take some time to finalise and wonder if there would be the opportunity to have notice of the final outcome and report of the accident and the decisions therein.

I thank you for your time and consideration as to this matter and I now await your reply.


Kayne Satchell