A leading recreational river user group, the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association is joining local canoe clubs, residents and other commercial river users in opposing a proposal to run commercial trips on the entrance to Kawarau Gorge through the Smith’s Falls rapid.
Representing the country’s recreational kayakers and canoeists, the Canoeing Association’s Safety Officer Janet Nichol is concerned that the proposal will create an unacceptable risk to the safety of kayakers and other river users.
The Kawarau Gorge is protected by a National Water Conservation Order due to its outstanding wild, scenic and recreational attributes. Conservation Officer Maree Baker said that the presence of a commercial jet boat operation, and the associated noise, disturbance, signage and system of lights suggested as a safety mechanism will severely impact upon the accessible wild and scenic experience that is unmatched elsewhere in New Zealand.
Submissions on the proposal to the Queenstown Lakes District Council close at 5pm on 6 April.
“The local kayaking community worked alongside the Minister of Conservation for years to achieve the National Water Conservation Order which recognises the values of the Kawarau Gorge. We do not intend to allow these values to be eroded” Ms Baker said.
New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association
Ph (025) 295 4704