Network Tasman is proposing a 30MW hydro dam on the Matakitaki river near Murchison. Two possible locations have been proposed; a lower one at Blue Rock would interfere with the popular Middle Matakitaki run, and an upstream location at Mammoth Flat is above the regularly paddled sections. The company has purchased land in the Matakitaki valley and anticipates conducting feasibility studies.
The Matakitaki contains some of the most popular runs in the district not including the mainstem of the Buller River and attracts kayakers throughout New Zealand. Writing about the scheme in the Nelson Mail, Karen Goodger notes,
Hydro proposals in that region have met stiff opposition in recent years but [Network Tasman Chairman] Mr Kearney said the Buller River conservation order did not extend to parts of the Matakitaki. River users such as kayakers would be concerned but the company hoped to consult and work through those issues. Despite kayaker representations, the Matakitaki was not directly included in the Buller Water Conservation Order but flows into the Buller mainstem are required to be maintained.