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.

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

The third reading of the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and improved Water Management) Bill passed under urgency in Parliament tonight will have dramatic and serious consequences for Canterbury rivers. The move by the Government to hijack the proposed Water Conservation Order for the Hurunui River amounts to destroying Canterbury’s only remaining undammed lake – Lake Sumner – and the Hurunui River.

Hurunui Water Project reactivates consents

The Christchurch Press reports the Hurunui Water Project has reactivated its consent applications for a 75m high dam on the South Branch of the Hurunui river and a weir at the outlet of Lake Sumner.

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.

Hurunui Water Conservation Order update

An update on the Hurunui Water Conservation Order. Polly Miller, Doug Rankin, Hugh Canard and Graeme Wilson report on the state of the Hurunui WCO, Hurunui Water Project's consent application and the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

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.

Wild Rivers Campaign launched

Eight conservation and outdoor recreation groups have combined to fight for New Zealand's wild rivers.

Hurunui Water Project consents on hold

According to the Press, the Hurunui Water Project have placed their resource consent applications for a dam and weir on hold for a year, to allow the processes established under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy to try and resolve issues with the scheme.

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.

Matakitaki sections may be spared from hydro

Network Tasman has released an update regarding the outcomes of their pre-feasibility studies regarding hydro on the Matakitaki River. The good news is that kayakers' have been heard loud and clear by the company.

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