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

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.

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.

Stockton Plateau hydro to proceed

Commissioners have indicated in a Minute (issued 18 December) that consents for the Stockton Plateau hydro project have been approved. The project is likely to slightly reduce the number of days on which the Ngakawau is boatable, but the water quality will be improved by the removal of mining pollutants. The project was supported by Whitewater NZ, as the 240GWh expected from the scheme makes a Mohikinui dam less necessary.

Day on a Wild River, 28/29 November

Across the country, the organisations involved with Wild Rivers are hosting a "Day on a Wild River" to help everybody understand the beauty and importance of New Zealand's remaining wild rivers. Over the weekend 28-29 November, events including raft and kayak descents, fishing, bush walks and tours, environmental talks, picnics and bbqs will occur at various locations.