Developments to Rock "A"

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Just thought those interested would like to see what is going on. Will find out how far the consent has got and what the exact method that they intend.

This article is pretty self explanatory but further investigation will be needed.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection...

have a look and give me your comments.

kayneo's picture

Considering the time and effort I think that that would have been alittle much. Maybe a playhole at the get out would be nice. If not alittle hypocritical.

wayne1's picture

Can't help but agree with the better part (more positive comments) of this topic. Good deal they did something about "A".

Would it be considered un-environmental to suggest we were short-sighted to not suggest that while they shut down the river they should have worked on a nice little feature for us?

kayneo's picture

Jamie, lets just try to open that mind a little. If you look back at all that has been said over the last few months and how this thread was first started, you will find that we were all against the changing of the river. In fact I believe that without the action taken by some members of the kayaking fraturnity they wold have taken the easy option and put explosive charges in to the river and changed it forever. Now we are being told that we may not use the Tarawera but not why. Jamie I dare you to visit the Tarawera and find some evidence that the current users (Kayak) have had a negative impact on the local environment. (I'll bet you cant) In fact have a look at the banks of the river and see how they have been kept open and usable by the control of introduced tree species (Willow etc). Unlike the Rangitaiki, the users of this area donnot have a commercial interest and therefore there will be no reason to touch the riverbed as there will be no input by legislative organisations in regard to the usage of the river for commercial purposes, as I have out lined in the email sent to Te Arawa Trust the get in and get out's are both man made therefore giving further reduction in the chance of negative impact on the environment.

It seems to me the the most plausible reason for the closure of the river is that of the hunting and fishing potential of the area. Using the road to view the falls will not affect these two pass times (Incomes) and I understand that this area is good for both. The saftey issue is not a large one. There have been few injuries etc in this area and only one of a serious nature that I have heard of.

If the issue is one of spiritual merit, how about the old fashioned let the gods decide. Leave the river in the hands of Tane and Tangaroa. I am sure that gods do not need the help of a few like minded mortals to help them out, I mean these guys once separated the earth and sky I am sure that they will get rid of us if they dont want us there.

I do think however that all persons have a RIGHT to visit any part of the New Zealand wilderness as long as they respect their surroundings. It will be a sad day when we have to just put up with the usual tourist attractions and sites. Just imagine what we will miss!!!!!

Kayne

jamie0's picture

If the outcome of being on the river is that the rivers are changed it is not out RIGHT to be there at all. Im not going to help get access to Tarawera only to have it changed by having people that have no respect for the environment near it.

ian2's picture

Although I still don't like altering rivers like this, it seems a good job has been done. I agree that leaving some flow to go through the sieve is a good outcome. I would have been glad to help Kayne, but it's a bit expensive popping up for a weekend from Christchurch. Good luck with the Trawera, I used to use it too when I lived up North.

Ian.

kayneo's picture

Naah, the work that was carried out was done so under the supervision and guidance of those that use this river frequently. I actually think the having only 70% of the seive filled is the best outcome. It means that mor of the natural aspect of the flow around Rock 'A' has been retained yet making this area safer for users on a commercial level. We have to look at the commercial factor as for these users this area is the bread and butter for the rafting companies (Consistant flows everyday) and without this work going ahead I am sure that the MSA and OSH would have deemed the area unsafe for rafting operations. My only concern is the un-natural substance used to fill the gap. The work has been done well and big up's to those that took time out to help out and ensure that the work was done correctly and with all of our interests in mind. It seems to me that most of those that had issues with this work didnt get involved and therefore have no real place to moan now. Next time if you dont want something to go ahead, hows about joining forces on a united front and that way we might get more things go our way.

See ya all on the water and hows about the Tarawera as a next attack. The river has been closed to kayakers and I dont see that this should be something that we just sit down and take. The NZRCA has put together a good submission to the Land Access Reference Group and I am sure that they could do with all the support that we can give them. Lets have a go at those that want to stop us being in place that we have every right to be in.

Kayne'o

jamie0's picture

Its a sad day to have it filled but then to do only 1/2 a job.

graeme2's picture

mike8's picture

the tuna may fell cool but if you cant raft the tuna well DOSENT mean that you are a real 4/5 guide

dodgyguy's picture

Ive been a rafting guide in rotorua for many years. Ive rafted the rangi at almost all levels, from "super sunday" when rock A and B turned into play waves to levels so low we had to walk the boat thro most of the rapids.

What i think is that some of the companies out there should stop putting kiatuna only guides, who think they are all that on real rivers like rangi and wiaroa. hundreds of rafts go down the rangi every year and seen alot of close calls by guides who shouldnt be on there.

The river never killed any of those people, people who shouldnt have been guiding or in charge killed them.

river.action.nz's picture

Seems that there has been some confusion to the method of reinforcement that I mentioned previously.

Untreated matting can be used (Kevlar is best) in conjunction with the cement. This method uses concrete (cement) as the bonding agent between layers. This gives the concrete some integral strength when hit by floating objects such as logs and rocks during their journey downstream. It stops large "chunks" of concrete from cracking and coming away from the structure making the area brittle and exposed to further decay.

Once damage has been sustained the remaining structure will not pose a danger to those that may come up against the area. As opposed to a steel bar or bent and broken metal gauze/mesh.

Kayne'o wrote:
>
> Exactly, I am in the middle of trying to contact Ray
> (Environment BOP consents officer) to get the information
> needed to assertain the manner in which the work will be
> done. I nvisage a plan that will entail the use of another
> rock placed across the seive and affixed each side and below
> with the use of concrete. If reinforcing of the concrete is
> absolutely neccesary then fiberglass matting is an option
> (Strength without rigidity) as yet there has been no consent
> given by Environ BOP but I think that once applied for by the
> Whakatane District Council the process will be very quick.
>
> Now I will need ideas that others have as to how they think
> that the job should be done. If we have a few ideas then when
> the need for a submission comes up we have options to give
> intsead of just saying that we dont agree with their
> proposal. You never know their plan maybe perfect but we will
> need to be ready if it is not.

river.action.nz's picture

Exactly, I am in the middle of trying to contact Ray (Environment BOP consents officer) to get the information needed to assertain the manner in which the work will be done. I nvisage a plan that will entail the use of another rock placed across the seive and affixed each side and below with the use of concrete. If reinforcing of the concrete is absolutely neccesary then fiberglass matting is an option (Strength without rigidity) as yet there has been no consent given by Environ BOP but I think that once applied for by the Whakatane District Council the process will be very quick.

Now I will need ideas that others have as to how they think that the job should be done. If we have a few ideas then when the need for a submission comes up we have options to give intsead of just saying that we dont agree with their proposal. You never know their plan maybe perfect but we will need to be ready if it is not.

ian2's picture

OK. I understand the difference in danger factor between rafts and kayaks. Yep, we have to ensure no dangerous materials are used if this thing goes ahead. I did not know galaxids were found in the Rangitaiki that far up. Pretty neat fish. Perhaps if the undercut is to be filled in the flow does not need to be stopped, just lowered and a temporary diversion put in to allow some water to continue downstream for the aquatic life?

river.action.nz's picture

The reason that most kayakers will not have a problem with this hazard is due to once they have hit the rock gone upside down and as a final resort, wet exited they have passed the danger area. With a raft, they will flip against the rock and then the swimmer will end up directly online with the gap as they are in the water earlier.

The current proposal with the shoring (filling) of the gap is sound. It seems to address all parties concerns and will be easy to impliment (But will be expensive) the ony concern will be the manner in which the work is done. EG: there sould be no steel reinforcing used as this WILL pose a danger further on down the track. I think that other than concrete all other materials should come from the river. Thie will mean that the "repair" will be in keeping with the natural aspect of its surroundings.

The water flow wil need to be stopped to allow the work to take place and therefore we will need to find out for how long. There are some rather important native fishes (Dwarf galaxias) a fish that only occurs in certain parts of NZ and one that little is known about. Therefore flow will have to return to normal quickly to reduce the impact on this and other species in the area.

As I have said before, lets find out when and for how long and get down/up there to get the wire and gear that we put in the river (Old slalom course) at the same time.

I am waiting to hear from environment BOP as to the dates for submissions to the consent and will hopefully know early next week.

ian2's picture

Never saw a kayak pin there in the 5 or so years I was a regular visitor. I agree that kayakers are less at risk and with your reasons. What is said about flow regimes makes good sense too.

I still disagree in principle with altering a river in the manner proposed, although I have no qualms about the motive. The way I see it, the hazard is presently a known factor, is only a real danger at low flows and is easily managed by portaging. Although I agree that filling the sieve in is unlikely to create another danger, it may make the flow past the rock interesting at higher flows. But since a fill-in could conceivably happen naturally (as the log that used to be stuck in there shows) I guess the whole thing may be a bit of a non-issue as far as altering the character of the rapid goes. I'd rather see it left as it is though and let paddlers deal with what is a known factor.

Mike Birch's picture

Firstly, rock "A" is in fact 2 rocks. It isn't an undercut - it's a sieve - a gap between the two rocks.

From experience, I would say that kayakers are less at risk, but not because they hold onto their boat when swimming. Flipping or wrapping a raft on the rocks seems to create the situation where people are forced under the water into the sieve. People swimming past rock "A" are not so likely to end up in the sieve. However, maybe there is a chance of a kayaker pinning on rock A and wet exiting into the sieve (Has anyone seen a kayak pin on rock "A").

Ray Sperling says, in the Herald article, that a log has moved. A change in the amount of water going through the sieve could certainly explain the lack of serious incidents during the eighties when commercial rafting was more active on this river. Many, many rafts flipped and wrapped here at low water back then.
There are plenty of beginner and intermediate kayakers who have paddled this section over the years. Are they more at risk now?

Rock "A" is only a hazard at low water levels and all the rafting operators will have identified it in their Safe Operational Plans that are required by the Maritime Safety Authority.

Filling the gap seems a sensible solution to me. If the river flow can be controlled to allow the gap to be completely plugged, then I can't see how this would "leave a more dangerous problem". The Herald article seems to answer the question of the authorities involved, but I note that no kayakers have been included.

val.sherriff's picture

These are some of the queries that Kaimai Canoe Club would like answered...there could be more.
Rock A and B are known hazards on the Rangitaiki river south of Murupara.
Are kayakers at less risk than rafters of falling foul of rock A because once they are at grade three level they either roll or at least have the presence of mind to hold on to their kayak until a rescuer appears if they are taking a swim?
River levels appear crucial to raft safety - perhaps rafters should set themselves some guidelines???
Stopping up the hole under the rock appears a logical solution but sometimes mucking around with river features like that leaves a more dangerous problem. How much will it cost, how long will the river be off limits while they mess around there and on whose authority are these measures being taken??