The club is active in campaigning and lobbying to protect our most valuable raw material – ‘water.’The wet stuff that we all take for granted is constantly facing new threats.
Threats such as; damming, diverting or taking water are all a concern that affect the resource that is fundamental to our activities. Hydro schemes on Mokihinui and the Matakitaki rivers have all been challenged by the club through campaigning in conjunction with other organisations.
The Mokihinui river (pictured) has recently been spared from the proposed hydro scheme and this stunning wilderness river trip will remain available to us. Likewise the Matakitaki river. Power generators are also rethinking their strategies in these current economic times, but who know what they will propose next. Ongoing is the proposal to dam the Morgan Gorge on Waitaha river in Westland. Visited by trampers too – not just kayakers, it’s stunning scenery!
Hydro schemes are some of the more obvious threats to rivers of which there remain several existing scheme proposals affecting many NZ rivers. However there are also threats to rivers from man-made hazards such as; trees felled into rivers, some methods of bank protection that use railway irons. Water quality is also a concern. There are risks from the degradation of water quality as a result of a range of pollution sources including livestock farming for example the Rai river which is affected by dairy farming. We wish to maintain the protection of wild and scenic values, like the Buller River which is recognised under the Buller Water Conservation Order, plus maintaining access working through the ‘Walking Access Commission’ .
The club works with other organisations with regards to such conservation matters not only campaigning against some propositions but also in positive consultation, as with the Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme which is a development on the Lee River.
The club subscribes to the White Water NZ (WWNZ), a national body that promotes/co-ordinates the sport of kayaking, safety training, environmental and conservation issues on behalf of the regional canoe clubs in NZ. The club is working directly and with the WWNZ to protect the quality and quantity of the wet stuff we rely on to enjoy our sport. The membership base of the club helps our argument when we are engaged in advocating for kayaking interests. Part of membership fees help the club maintain the vital advocacy work to protect kayaker’s interests.
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