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Recreational Flow For Tekapo River

Recreational Flow For Tekapo River

Thursday 21 October 2004

Recreational flow releases for Tekapo River to attract whitewater canoeing enthusiasts

Meridian Energy will begin its annual series of recreational water releases for the Tekapo River this weekend.

The power generating company will release water flows of between 18 and 60 cubic metres a second (cumecs) for six hours on Saturday 23 October, Sunday 24 October, and Monday 25 October.

The Tekapo River releases will affect the upper reach of the Tekapo River between the SH8 Bridge and the Tekapo A power station. Use of the Tekapo Whitewater Course is for limited access events, coordinated by the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association (NZRCA).

Alan Seay, spokesman for Meridian Energy, says the company has worked closely alongside the NZRCA to choose dates that suit its whitewater enthusiasts, and the needs of Meridian Energy¹s hydro generation assets.

³It¹s great to be able to provide such an exciting course for the NZRCA. We work very closely with the community at Tekapo and these annual recreational water releases are fast becoming key dates on the sporting calendar,² says Alan Seay.

The water flowing down the course will re-enter the Waitaki canal system just below the power station and be available for the other seven power stations that make up the Waitaki hydro scheme. The Tekapo power station will generate as normal during the recreational flows.

Construction of the Tekapo Whitewater Course, which opened in 2002, was overseen by the Tekapo Whitewater Trust. The Trust also oversees the operation and maintenance of the course and is made up of representatives from Meridian Energy, NZRCA, the NZ Slalom Canoe Association, Mackenzie District Council, Mackenzie College, and Otago and Canterbury Universities.

Alan Hoffman, chairman of the Tekapo Whitewater Trust, says the course is a wonderful way to introduce newcomers to the sport.

"We like to see as many groups as possible use the course so that a wide variety of people get to try wildwater slalom kayaking," says Alan Hoffman.

Among those scheduled to use the course this season is Mackenzie College.

"Having school groups is a great way to introduce young people to the sport. Not all those who have a go will go on to competitive slalom but some do, and some of them become very good at it," concludes Alan Hoffman.

A weekend of river releases for the Pukaki River is also planned for next February.


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