Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

Kawarau Jetboat


Last year (2014) the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) reaffirmed the Navigation Safety bylaw that prevents Kawarau Jet Services Holdings Ltd (KJET or KJSH) operating on the Kawarau River below the Arrow River confluence, and KJSH withdrew a resource consent application to allow them to commercially jet boat down through Smiths Falls to the Kawarau Gorge suspension bridge (the bungy bridge).

However, KJET have recently reopened the matter and applied to QLDC to modify five resource consents to allow them to commercially jet boat down to the bungy bridge. KJSH propose to change their current resource consents and introduce monitored surveillance equipment to facilitate their proposed operations down through Smiths Falls to the bungy bridge, and build a small jetty for their use above the bungy bridge. (KJET have also applied to have the bylaw changed but this application has not yet been notified.) If granted such consents (and a bylaw change) would permit KJET to operate jet boats commercially down through Smith’s Falls, on the first stretch of the Dogleg kayaking and rafting run on the Kawarau River.

November 2015

K-JET bylaw exemption application has been withdrawn from consideration at 26 November QLDC meeting.

August 2015

Whitewater NZ, Queenstown Rafting, other clubs like Central Otago Whitewater, and local paddlers and high schools have real concerns that jet boats on the river would pose a major safety hazard and would be incompatible with what we kayakers and rafters and non-motorised river users enjoy on the reach. The Kawarau has a Water Conservation Order on it recognising its outstanding kayaking and rafting values.

Submissions on the applications close on September 2nd. So if you are interested have a look at the KJSH resource consent application 2015 (RM150546) (PDF, 10MB).

If you want some ideas for your submission look at Gordy Raynor’s submission (PDF, 611KB) on a similar application made in 2001. That application was declined.

Download a blank submission form (PDF, 220KB) or use our version with some key details filled in (PDF, 252KB). (Note that using this form requires software that can support PDF form editing and saving, or use a Word .docx version.)

So get a submission in if you have any concerns! Whitewater NZ and various clubs will be doing so but personal submissions requesting the consents be declined would be very helpful too! Even just a short submission, but it is very important that it is in your own words, objecting to the proposed consent condition changes, and opposing any change to the bylaw that also needs to be changed, and giving brief reasons as to why, will help us register our interests and concerns. Many thanks.

Doug Rankin
Conservation Officer


KJET have applied for similar access in the past: see 2001 submission and in 2014.


  • Kayakers protest jetboats at Dogleg, 24 November 2015
  • River guardians, 23 November 2015, Otago Daily Times
  • KJET resource consent application 2015 (RM150546) (PDF, 10MB).
  • Blank submission form (PDF, 220KB)
  • Annotated submission form (PDF, 252KB) (Note that using this form requires software that can support PDF form editing and saving, or use a Word .docx version.)
  • COW submission re KJSH, 2001 (PDF, 606KB)
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