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.

Hurunui moratorium a positive step

The recommendation by the new Commissioners to the Minister for the Environment for a Moratorium on the Hurunui River is a positive step towards reaching a collaborative outcome for the Hurunui.

West Coast Whitewater Kayaking Survey 2010

The West Coast Whitewater Kayaking Survey 2010 is now live and Whitewater New Zealand encourages anyone who has paddled on the Coast to complete it. Andy England is doing the work as part of his Royal Society of New Zealand Teacher Fellowship. In brief:

  • Purely about whitewater kayaking/canoeing on the West Coast of NZ.
  • The biggest West Coast kayaking survey to date, designed to update the 1991-93 survey.
  • Will provide valuable data for decision making processes.
  • It’s online and will take you 20 mins if you haven’t done many rivers, up to an hour if you’ve done most West Coast rivers - you can leave it and come back to it
  • Live until 12 August.
  • Needs as many people as possible, so please complete the survey and encourage everyone else you know to participate.

CPW decision released by commissioners

[4 June] Commissioners have released their decision granting Central Plains Water consents for CPW to construct river intake structures and take water from the Rakaia and the Waimakariri. Following prolonged and exhaustive hearings, the consents have numerous conditions seeking to ensure safety of instream users, and to mitigate the effects of reduced flows on recreation. Update 23 June: Whitewater Canoe Club's Graeme Wilson summarises the impacts on kayakers arising from the conditions applied to the Central Plains Water resource consent.

Central Plains Water decision

Graeme Wilson summarises the impacts on kayakers arising from the conditions applied to the Central Plains Water resource consent for water from the Rakaia and Waikmakariri Rivers.

Conservation update: Canterbury WCOs and Mokihinui dam

Glenn Murdoch and Tony Ward-Holmes summarise the latest disastrous developments threatening whitewater including the undermining of Water Conservation Orders in Canterbury and the granting of consents for a dam on the Mokihinui River.

Whitewater NZ backs Hurunui moratorium

In the wake of the sacking of Environment Canterbury (ECAN) councillors and the dissolution of the Water Conservation Order for the Hurunui River Whitewater NZ has joined the North Canterbury Fish and Game Council, Forest and Bird and the Water Rights Trust to formally request that a moratorium be placed on water permits allowing the taking, use, damming and diverting of the Hurunui River. In particular, this would effectively place the Hurunui Water Project application to dam the Hurunui River and take water on hold.

Whitewater NZ, F&B, DOC appeal Mōkihinui dam

Whitewater NZ have submitted an appeal to the Environment Court over the consent granted to Meridian Energy for a dam on the Mōkihinui River. The appeal seeks that the consents are not granted due the complete loss of kayaking amenity with no mitigation. The scheme does not promote sustainable management (because no one is making new rivers). The appeal points out that there is no bond for ultimate removal of the dam, and that the dam is unnecessary due to the Dobson and Stockton schemes that have already received consents.

Whitewater NZ dismayed by approval for Mokihinui dam

Whitewater NZ has today expressed dismay and outrage at the West Coast Regional Council’s decision to approve Meridian Energy’s Resource Consent Application to build a dam on the wild and scenic Mokihinui River, north of Westport.

Government torpedoes own flagship water reform group

EDS, Ecologic, Fish & Game, Whitewater NZ and Forest & Bird logos

Five leading environmental and outdoor recreation groups said today that the Government legislation on water conservation orders passed yesterday under urgency has sent a torpedo into the Government-backed national forum working on water management reform.

New legislation weakens Water Conservation Orders and paves the way for dams on the Hurunui River

This week, with the passing of the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Bill, the National Government has fundamentally undermined Water Conservation Orders in Canterbury, reneged on their environmental credentials and taken an unprecedented step towards allowing developers free access to the Hurunui River.

Since 1991 the Resource Management Act, through Water Conservation Orders, has provided a robust mechanism for ensuring that our most important rivers have been protected.

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