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Water Conservation Order for Buller River

21 June 2001 Media Statement

Water Conservation Order for Buller River to take effect next month

A water conservation order for the West Coast's Buller River and connected waterways will come into force from July 21, the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, announced today.

The order will ensure that certain rivers and lakes within the Buller system, such as the Travers and Sabine Rivers and Lakes Rotoroa, Rotoiti and Constance, are preserved in their natural state.

The application for the conservation order was first lodged in 1987. It was then considered by a special tribunal and again by the Planning Tribunal who reported back to the Minister on the issue in 1996. The Planning Tribunal recommended that some additional rivers be included in the order. Determining which rivers and to what extent they be included has taken some time.

Marian Hobbs said a water conservation order was the most effective way of ensuring that future generations could experience all the unique characteristics that the river had to offer.

"Anyone who has had first hand experience of the Buller will agree that it is worth protecting," Marian Hobbs said. "It’s important that the opportunity to do something as natural as fishing for trout is not lost in this part of New Zealand."

As well as trout fishing, it is also widely recognised for its other recreational attractions, such as horse trekking and kayaking and has been described as one of the ‘best playgrounds in the World for white water rafting.’

Outstanding wildlife and scenic value, as well as important scientific characteristics make the need for a conservation order imperative, Marian Hobbs said.

"The order will effectively clarify what can and can’t be done with the river, while at the same time achieve the overall goal of ensuring that river remains a place of beauty and recreation," the minister said.

Specifically, the conservation order will place restrictions on the damming of certain waterways, and include restrictions on altering the water quality of the waters included in the order.

The purpose of a water conservation order is to recognise and sustain waters that are considered to be outstanding as a habitat or fishery, or for scenic, scientific or recreational values.


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