Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.


Preservation of whitewater, threats to recreational amenity, wild and scenic rivers.

Matakitaki and Wairau hydro schemes also on hold

The Nelson Mail reports that the Matakitaki river hydro scheme proposed by Network Tasman, and the Wairau river hydro scheme proposed by TrustPower, have both been placed on hold due to unfavourable economic conditions.

PCE report: Hydroelectricity or wild rivers?

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr. Jan Wright has issued a report "Hydroelectricity or wild rivers? Climate change versus natural heritage" (PDF, 5MB) highlighting the weaknesses of the current options for preserving wild and scenic rivers. The report criticises the recent National Policy Statements for Renewable Electricity Generation and Freshwater Management: "Where the two NPSs may have counterbalanced each other, instead they favour developing hydroelectricity. The NPS on Renewable Electricity Generation does not sufficiently recognise the irreversible damage of some renewable electricity proposals. And the NPS on Freshwater Management does not explicitly recognise the value of preserving wild and scenic rivers" (p68).

Whitewater NZ are delighted that Meridian Energy has abandoned plans to dam the Mokihinui River

Whitewater NZ are delighted to see Meridian Energy’s announcement that they will abandon their plan to dam the wild and scenic Mokihinui River on the West Coast.

Whitewater NZ Conservation Officer Tony Ward-Holmes says that our last remaining wild rivers do not need to be dammed to meet our power needs for the future. There are other schemes already consented on the West Coast to provide for local power demand and other alternatives, such as geothermal and wind that are being built now across the country.

Meridian abandons proposed Mōkihinui dam

Meridian announced today that they are no longer pursuing a dam on the wild and scenic Mōkihinui River citing concerns over their ability to secure resource consents and approval to inundate conservation land. The proposed 80m dam would have inundated an entire class III-IV section from Mōkihinui Forks down to Seddonville. It would effectively eliminate the upstream class IV-V section from the Johnson-Allan confluence by replacing the lower run with a 14km lake. Whitewater NZ had appealed the resource consents to the Environment Court along with Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird, and West Coast Environmental Network Trust.

In a Whitewater NZ media release, Conservation Officer Tony Ward-Holmes said, "This decision has meant that the Mokihinui will remain a pristine river valley, providing outstanding wilderness kayaking and rafting opportunities."

Arnold scheme postponed

The Otago Daily Times reports that Trustpower has postponed the Arnold hydro scheme citing adverse economic conditions. Trustpower have been granted consents for the scheme and the agreed mitigation for the loss of kayaking amenity is an artificial kayak course. The scheme may be re-activated in the future.

Clutha hydro plans on hold

Contact Energy has announced that it won't be proceeding with proposed hydro development options for Luggate (25m, 86MW), Queensberry (14m, 160MW), Beaumont (30m, 185MW) and Tuapeka Mouth (50m, 350MW).

Protecting New Zealand's rivers

The NZ Conservation Authority (NZCA) released a report late in 2011 entitled Protecting New Zealand’s Rivers. The full report is available on the Department of Conservation website, www.doc.govt.nz and is well worth a read. The NZCA is an appointed representative body whose role is to advise the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General of Conservation.

Submissions needed to protected Hurunui

The Hurunui River needs you to make yet another submission. We are making progress to protect this river - and we need you to write another few sentences to help us. Submissions close by 4.30pm on the 2 December 2011. Email to mailroom@ecan.govt.nz. Please forward this to those you know who paddle the Hurunui.

Green Party launches plan to clean up rivers

Gearing up for the 2011 election, the Green Party has launched a plan to clean up our rivers. The plan includes setting standards for clean water, introducing charges for irrigation water and supporting water clean-up initiatives. Read more at http://www.greens.org.nz/cleanrivers

King Country Energy abandons Mokau hydro scheme

King Country Energy has announced that it will not proceed with proposed Mokau hydro scheme. Although Environment Waikato granted consents for a dam last January, KCE says that the scheme would be “economically infeasible”.

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