Parapara Public Meeting

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The proposers of the parapara hydro scheme are holding a public meeting at the Onekaka Town Hall on Tuesday 18th at 7.30pm. It would be good to get some local Golden Bay paddlers there, particularly if you have paddled the Parapara.

gus's picture

Well, I didn't make the meeting, but a couple of us got on the river a few weeks back, well worth looking at if you you like it steep, tight and continous. Also a beautiful spot to be.

Hard to say whether this particular hydro scheme is good or bad for the parapara. The day we were there we had minimal water (5 cumecs?), and if the scheme was taking a couple of cubes, it would have been unrunnable... There was enough portaging around sieved out drops as it was. I'd love to get in there with at least twice the amount we had, but it drops so quick and there's no way to find out without going there. And you'd be doing well to get anything but a decent 4WD up the road after rain. The walk-in is sweet, mostly downhill and good surface for boat-dragging.

Happy boating

andy3's picture

I attended the meeting and sent the following email to NZRCA members afterwards (the developer also has a website at http://www.projectresource.co.nz/index.htm :

"I attended the Parapara meeting. It is an interesting scheme and difficult to gauge at this stage the impact on kayaking.

The intention is to use a gold mining tunnel to divert at most 1 1/2 cumecs to another valley to generate power. Initially he wants to use it as a run of river scheme until the downriver impacts are more fully understood. This would mean the impact on kayaking would be relatively minimal. There is also the added benefit of a two wheel drive road being put into the dam, meaning those without a chunky 4wd won't have to walk for 50 minutes. There may also be the potential of having a flow site available for the river as
this is another significant problem for kayakers - knowing when it is
flowing.

But, eventually he wants to restore the dam (it is currently broken in one corner, u can see this on the website) and use it to create storage. I didn't get an answer from him in the meeting about whether he wants to extend the storage capacity, but at this stage I don't think he does. How this would impact on the number of kayakable days in a year is anybodies guess. He is collecting a lot of flow data and I will approach him to see if he is willing to let us have it. If so, someone with some mathmatical nouse may be able to determine the impact on kayakable days based on the
amount of storage in the dam.

It seems quite early days yet. A bit, but seemingly not massive, opposition from those who live up the valley worried about increasing access into a quite private area and the effect of flow on a nice swimming river (in the lower reaches). Also some concern about aquatic life, but there isn't much in the affected river as there are a couple of big drops blocking most fish-life in the gorge.

He is at least aware that kayakers use the river now, have also let the DoC area manager know that kayakers are taking an interest too.

russell0's picture

I am currently trying to find any new infomation on this proposed hydro scheme. Does anyone know where to track down any new info such as how the meeting went or any new action taken since that meeting?

Any info would be wicked!!!

Cheers