Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Restoring The Richness Of The Rangitata River

A major Jobs for Nature project to protect and enhance some of the South Island’s most unique habitats and restore the health of the Rangitata River highlights the important role farmers have in caring for the land, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.

“Canterbury’s braided rivers are an iconic part of the landscape and are home to a range of special birds and wildlife that have adapted to an ever-changing environment,” Kiri Allan said.

“We’ve seen with the recent floods how protection of these types of rivers – only found in a few other places globally – is critical to the survival of the area’s biodiversity.

“We are investing in two initiatives: an $8.7 million project focusing on the Lower Rangitata, led by Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, and a $7.3 million project focusing on the Upper Rangitata, spearheaded by the Upper Rangitata Gorge Landcare Group.

Part of the Department of Conservation’s Nga Awa river restoration programme, the Rangitata is one of fourteen rivers of significance.

“The Upper Rangitata project will see farmers and landowners partnering with DOC and other agencies to fence off stock, restore wetlands, trap pests, and propagate and plant eco-sourced and culturally significant natives in a joint move to improve water quality and enhance biodiversity values along the riverbank.

“It recognises the intrinsic values of this special area, which runs through some of the South Island’s best known high country stations including Mt Peel, Erewhon and Mesopotamia.

“The project on the Lower Rangitata, the section of the river from the Gorge to sea comprising a 65 km river run, focuses on the braided fairway, berms next to the main river channels, wetlands, and intensively farmed riparian margins within the lower catchment.

“Supporting and championing people to connect to their whenua, learn and apply new skills, while also leaving an enduring conservation legacy is the focus of our Jobs for Nature programme.

“The last few years have been challenging ones for Canterbury. This is a fantastic multi-pronged initiative that will have major benefits for the environment into the future.” Kiri Allan said.

Background information

This project is part of a cross-agency approach to the restoration and protection of the river. The Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand, Environment Canterbury, Timaru District Council, Ashburton District Council and Te Runanga O Arowhenua having formed a steering group and are working together to support the restoration of the awa.

The Lower Rangitata project will be managed by Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, while the Upper Rangitata project will be managed by the Upper Rangitata Gorge Landcare Group.

34 jobs, will be created over the 4 years.

Nga Awa – Rangitata

The river has great cultural and spiritual significance for Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua and Ngāi Tahu.

The Rangitata begins in the headwaters of the Clyde and Havelock Rivers, which are fed by springs, streams, wetlands and melting glacier ice in the Southern Alps. The channels of this braided river criss-cross a wide gravel bed on a 121 km journey to the sea. Braided rivers are internationally rare and the Rangitata supports many uncommon fish, plants, and birds.

A gorge at the river’s mid-point forms a natural division, with different land uses, ecology, and character above and below. The upper part of the catchment has low intensity farming and landscape-scale riverbed weed and predator control.

Below the gorge, the river is constrained by stop banks and water for irrigation is taken out. Here the farming is more intense, and weeds and encroaching land uses have created a much less natural landscape.

Ngā Awa river restoration programme: Our work (

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Covid Vaccine Inequality, Plus Cowboy Bebop

Plainly, the Big Pharma model – where vaccine development, distribution, and pricing is left in the hands of the private sector - is not fit for purpose when it comes to meeting the global challenge of Covid vaccine coverage. Last week, Amnesty International released a major report on how the global response to the pandemic is only accentuating the inequalities... More>>

Government: Self-isolation Pilot To Start With 150 People

The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers... More>>



Government: Details Of Interest Deductibility Rules Released

The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals... More>>


Wellington Council: Mayor Suggests UK-style Arts-sector Insurance Scheme
It’s time New Zealand thought about an arts and events sector insurance scheme, not unlike that in the United Kingdom, says Wellington Mayor Andy Foster. His call follows the cancellation of the World of WearableArts 2021 show... More>>

Government: Next Steps To Improve Safety In Wake Of Whakaari White Island Tragedy
The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities... More>>

Land Air Water: Two-thirds Of NZ’s Monitored River Sites Ecologically Impaired

Today, the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) project has released the LAWA River Water Quality National Picture Summary 2021, alongside updated river monitoring result histories for more than 1500 individual sites across New Zealand... More>>

Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels