Nevis River Protected!
Media release from Otago Fish & Game
Nevis River Protected!
Otago Fish and Game welcomes the decision by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Amy Adams, to give the Nevis River the highest level of protection by confirming an amendment to the Kawarau Water Conservation Order.
The amended WCO includes a complete prohibition on damming and identification of additional outstanding values so that the river is recognized as nationally important for its wild and scenic characteristics, native fish habitat values and scientific values as well as its trout fishery, and recreational kayaking amenity.
Chief Executive Niall Watson says the Minister’s decision follows the majority decision of the Environment Court in June this year
“This confirms the high value placed on the river by the community and the efforts of groups and individuals from across the country in supporting the WCO amendment through the hearing process,” says Mr Watson.
“It protects a wild and scenic river fishery with an international reputation amongst serious anglers and preserves and an important piece of New Zealand’s natural and social heritage.” “All this adds to the Nevis’s reputation as a unique recreational area and outdoor natural history museum.”
The decision signals the end of a hearing process started in 2006 with an application for a variation to the Kawarau WCO to add protection to the Nevis River in the face of increasing interest in a hydro-electric power generation scheme which threatened the river fishery.
Water Conservation Order (WCO) facts:
• Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) are described as the ‘National Parks of waterways’.
• A WCO is New Zealand's highest level of protection that can be afforded to a body of freshwater.
• There are just 15 WCO-protected water bodies in the country.
• Fish & Game and its licenced anglers and hunters, along with conservation organisations and Iwi, have spent millions of dollars to safeguard some of the country’s most outstanding waterways through WCO applications.
• This has enabled the protection of highly-valued sport fisheries (such as trout and salmon), habitat of native species and freshwater-based recreation for all New Zealanders.
• The Government is proposing major changes to the RMA which will have a significant impact on the future of WCOs.
For more information on Water Conservation Orders visit: www.outstandingrivers.org.nz