Police prevent Aratiatia descent

Ben Brown reports that yesterday police prevented a group of kayakers from running the Aratiatia rapid on the Waikato river. The Police are presumably enforcing clause 3.9.1(d) in the Waikato Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw (PDF, 1.3MB) that states, "Not operate any vessels (other than for maintenance purposes) within 200 metres of the Taupo gates and hydro dam structures on the Waikato River." (PDF, 1.3MB). This rule has not been enforced on kayakers on Aratiatia before now and the rapid has been increasingly paddled since the first descent in 1998. Kayakers intending to descend Aratiatia can try submitting a "Bylaw exemption application form" to obtain an exemption from clause 3.9.1(d). Note the $125.00 fee.