Waitaha Hydro

Morgan Gorge. Photo: Zak Shaw

Westpower is seeking a DOC concession for a 20MW hydro scheme at the exit of Morgan Gorge on the pristine Waitaha River.

The scheme would involve an intake structure at the start of Morgan Gorge, taking water through a tunnel to a power station below the gorge, after which the flow would return to the river.

WWNZ modelling indicates that the scheme would result in a total loss of the recreational amenity in the gorge, due to the reduction in suitable flows for boating this challenging section.

DOC have notified the concession application and kayakers should make submissions to DOC to preserve the recreational amenity. Although Westpower have consulted with kayakers prior to the concession application it is not apparent that any of the feedback from paddlers has been taken into account.

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