Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Time to recognise Otago's outstanding rivers


Time to recognise Otago's outstanding rivers

Fish & Game Otago has kicked off a campaign to highlight one of the region’s most outstanding river catchments, the Kawarau.

The river, along with many of its major tributaries are safeguarded by a Water Conservation Order (WCO) – the equivalent of National Park protection status for waterways. The WCO was granted 15 years ago.

Otago Fish & Game chief executive Niall Watson says few people are aware of the WCO status which protects Lake Wakatipu, the Kawarau River and its tributaries from developments or damaging uses.

Mr Watson says signage is being erected to remind and inform the public about the value of WCOs and their use as a tool for protecting wild rivers.

“People forget or don’t know that the river environment they enjoy today on their bike ride down past Gibbston, the river gorge they bungy jump into or the narrow shutes they jet boat past on the Shotover may not be there had it not been for a WCO to protect those outstanding natural features,” he says

The WCO protection status on the Kawarau was fiercely contested at the time by irrigators, power companies and even some local community people who thought it would compromise economic development.

“That’s been far from the case in the Wakatipu area where people seem to have grown to accept that the natural environment, including the protected waterways, are a huge asset to the region and country, especially for tourism and recreational activities.”

After being instigated by rafters and kayakers, the Department of Conservation and Fish & Game got behind the order and pressed it through the hearings stages to secure what is arguably one of the most sought-after angling locations and popular visitor catchments in the country.

But Mr Watson says WCOs need to be constantly monitored and, where possible, improved.

“Loopholes exist and exemptions for some valuable tributaries like the Nevis, where damming was not completely prohibited, were made with only limited information. That is now the subject of an amendment which seeks to preserve that catchments valuable free-flowing river and in turn its outstanding scenic, native fish and recreational sportsfishing values.”

Former All Blacks captain Anton Oliver is throwing his weight behind WCOs nationally. Although now based in London, Oliver is fronting efforts to preserve and even strengthen the use of WCOs throughout New Zealand.

“WCOs are the highest level of protection that can be afforded to any freshwater body in New Zealand, yet lots of people have never heard of them. We’ve only got a finite number of wild, free-flowing rivers left in this country and some are protected by a WCO.

“It’s time to get WCOs to the fore and ensure the average Kiwi understands just how precious they are. When a WCO is granted it provides National Park-type status, protecting its outstanding natural values for all freshwater fish, wildlife, outdoor recreation and present and future generations,” Mr Oliver says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% and the Act Party is on 6.3%. Conditions continue to look terminal for New Zealand First. Despite being a stubborn brake on government tax policy and winning a few policy gains of its own, NZF is registering only a 1.9% level of support... More>>

 

Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>

ALSO:


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>

ALSO:

Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>

ALSO:

National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels