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.
Want to help?
- Read Rebecca Macfie's article in the Listener for a very good summary of the issues.
- Visit our campaign site wildriver.nz view great videos about the Waitaha and to sign a petition.
Make a submission using our template (.docx template, .odt template) but putting in your own words as much as possible, before 14 November 2016. Also see DOC's How to submit (DOC), along with our Key Points (PDF) for details.
- Join "Save the Waitaha River" Facebook group.
- 28 August 2019: 'Mt Cook of rivers' will not be tamed as Govt rejects Waitaha hydropower scheme, Joanne Carroll, Stuff.
- 28 August 2019: Govt rejects hydro bid for pristine West Coast river, NZME/Otago Daily Times.
- 28 August 2019: Waitaha river hydro application declined, DoC
Letter re 'Waitaha Hydro Scheme- Decision on application for concessions' (4.6MB, PDF), Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment, 27 August 2019
- 8 December 2016: Environment battle heats up at hearing into proposed hydro scheme for West Coast river, Joanne Carroll, The Press.
- 7 December 2016: West power hydro scheme on Waitara River supported on West Coast, Janna Sherman, Hokitika Guardian.
- 2 December 2016: Hearing ahead as submissions pour in opposing Westpower's Waitara power scheme, Laura Mills, Greymouth Star.
- 14 November 2016: End date for submissions to DOC re concession.
- 13 November 2016: Wild Waitaha River to be tamed by hydro scheme, Charlie Mitchell, Press.
- 31 October 2016: Rough waters at Waitaha River as environmental battle rages over hydro power scheme, Rebecca Macfie, Listener.
- 15 October 2016: Trampers join kayakers damning Waitaha plan, Newshub.
- 13 October 2016: Kayakers aghast at hydro approval for wild and pristine river, Whitewater NZ media release.
- 16 September 2016: The Department of Conservation is seeking feedback on a decision to 'approve in principle' an application from Westpower Ltd to construct and operate a hydro electric power scheme on the Waitaha River.
Concession Officer's Report (PDF, 3.5MB)
- 1 May 2015: Additional Information on the Proposed Westpower Waitaha Hydro Scheme (PDF, 1MB), Doug Rankin, Whitewater NZ (response to Greenaway & Associates Recreation Report).
- January 2015: Impacts of the Proposed Waitaha River Westpower Hydro Scheme on White Water and Kayaking Values (PDF, 4.4MB), Doug Rankin & Shane Orchard
- 30 July 2014: Westpower lodges application for DOC concession including Waitaha Recreation Assessment Report 2008 (PDF, 1.4MB), K Booth, and Westpower Waitaha Hydro Investigations Recreation and Tourism Assessment (PDF, 5.1MB), Greenaway.