Conservation

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

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.

Revised Waimakariri scheme likely to proceed

Whitewater NZ Conservation Officer Tony Ward-Holmes advises, "The Central Plains Water Commissioners have issued "Minute 11" (PDF, 453KB), which in their words is "in effect an interim decision." The decision is that the remaining consents (apart from those for the Waianiwniwa reservoir which were previously turned down) will be granted.

Save the Hurunui demonstration, 16 October

Dambusters are organising a Save the Hurunui march in central Christchurch on Friday 16 October. We are keen to get as many kayaks on the mighty Avon at 12.15pm on the Friday, and float from the Bridge of Remembrance to Victoria Park. It'll be all wrapped up in half an hour, so easy to fit into the busy paddler's lunch hour. If you'd like help with boat transport please contact Polly on president@rivers.org.nz.