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Fish & Game rates Rangitikei River a stunner

Media release from Wellington Fish & Game
Fish & Game rates Rangitikei River a stunner

One of the North Island’s most iconic wild and scenic rivers, the Rangitikei River, is in the spotlight this week.

Fish & Game has joined forces with other organisations (see below) in the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of the country’s most outstanding rivers, and the Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) which give them protection.

“Thousands of people travel on State Highway One from Wellington to Taupo and overlook the water treasure alongside that is the Rangitikei River,” says Phil Teal, Wellington Region Fish & Game Regional Manager. “People come from all over the world to come and experience the river’s trout fishing, many visiting year after year.”

And its not all about trout. “Anglers rate this site for its spectacular scenic wilderness experience, not just for the fishing,” he says. “This important wilderness river has a role which goes far beyond sport fishing, to include all sorts of adventure tourism and recreation from white water rafting to mountain biking.”

The middle and upper reaches of the Rangitikei River were protected in 1993 by a Water Conservation Order (WCO) – the highest level of protection afforded to any water body in New Zealand. Around 15 rivers and some lakes are protected by WCOs – and for the Rangitikei River, that means no damming and protection of its water quality.

Mr Teal says while there’s wide recognition of New Zealand’s network of National Parks, too few Kiwis are aware that WCOs provide similar high-level protection for some of the country’s most precious, pristine rivers.

The WCO campaign this week includes the launch of the www.OutstandingRivers.org.nz WCO website, erecting WCO signage and unveiling ceremonies at key locations around the country to identify these waterways of national significance, and raft and kayak flotillas down WCO protected rivers.

Former All Blacks captain Anton Oliver is fronting the campaign in his role as WCO ambassador.

Note: Organisations taking part in the campaign include Forest & Bird, Environmental Defence Society (EDS), Whitewater NZ, Federated Mountain Clubs and other environmental and recreational NGOs.

ENDS

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