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Hunter River

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  1. Dawn
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    Looks like things are heating up on the Hunter River access debate, here are a couple of articles from the ODT.

    boats and fishing'
    Home » News » Queenstown Lakes
    By Rebecca Fox on Fri, 17 Apr 2009
    Your Town: Queenstown | News: Queenstown Lakes
    Click photo to enlarge

    Niall Watson. Photo Peter McIntosh. The Hunter River is too small to accommodate both jet-boaters and anglers, the Otago Fish and Game Council says.
    A bylaw review by the Queenstown Lakes District Council has provoked a reconsideration of the boat speed limit on the Hunter River.

    A conflict exists in the the provisions of the district plan, which permits an open season of boating between May and October and the bylaw. It puts a five-knot speed limit on the river.

    Otago Fish and Game Council chief executive Niall Watson said the bylaw was considered by the Wanaka Community Board which supported the status quo, but allowed for the limit to be uplifted by the chief executive of the Queenstown council.

    The Hunter River was a nationally important wilderness trout fishery and was known for having low numbers of anglers and little human intrusion.

    Jet-boating on a river like that would "disrupt the enjoyment of anglers, disturb fish and adversely impact on the wilderness characteristics," he said.

    "The fact is the river is too small to accommodate both at a given point."

    Recently when the speed limit had been uplifted, some jet-boaters took advantage of it to the detriment to anglers' safety on the river, he said.

    At a meeting of the fish and game council yesterday, chairman John Barlow said in the long-term the only way to resolve the matter was through a change to the Queenstown council's district plan.

    The councillors decided to support the retention of the bylaw. Mr Watson was also to speak to the Queenstown council when the matter next came before it.

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  2. Dawn
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    Fish and Game aghast as hearings panel gives access to jet-boats
    Home » News » Queenstown Lakes
    By Marjorie Cook on Fri, 24 Apr 2009
    Your Town: Wanaka | News: Queenstown Lakes
    Fresh salvos have been fired in the battle for access to the Hunter River after the announcement yesterday a Queenstown Lakes District Council hearings panel has recommended a five-knot speed restriction be removed, effectively giving jet-boaters access to the river for six months of each year.

    The council will be asked to approve the recommendation at a meeting in Queenstown on Tuesday, and representatives from opposing anglers and jet-boating organisations say they will be there.

    Jet Boating New Zealand Southland rivers officer Eddie McKenzie said yesterday he was not celebrating yet, but believed the hearing panel had made the correct recommendation.

    "It is about sharing," he said.

    Otago Fish and Game Council chief executive Niall Watson said it was absurd to think the river could be shared.

    Jet-boats would displace recreational anglers from the last wilderness area in the South Island where passive recreation could be enjoyed.

    Many people opposed jet-boat access to the river, he said.

    Mr McKenzie said the Hunter River area was no longer the last bastion of the South Island wilderness experience, as aircraft landed there regularly on airstrips and commercial fishing guides had been seen buzzing other river users in helicopters.

    Opposition was being driven by commercial anglers wanting to keep the river for themselves, Mr McKenzie said.

    In its district plan several years ago, the council recommended allowing jet-boats into the Hunter River, but that access has been effectively denied because of a five-knot speed restriction on the river.

    The low speed limit prevents motorised craft negotiating the bar at the mouth of the river, a tributary of Lake Hawea.

    The speed limit had to be addressed in a review of all the district's navigational safety bylaws.

    Wanaka Community Board chairman Lyal Cocks, who was on the navigational safety bylaws hearings panel, said yesterday he did not believe any evidence had been presented showing it was unsafe to jet-boat on the Hunter River.

    The environmental impacts of jet-boats on the river had already been determined by the council before he was elected.

    If people wanted to stop jet-boating, they had to apply for a review of the district plan, Cr Cocks said.

    "It is now about a safety bylaw, although I do feel for people who have misunderstood or had false expectations," Cr Cocks said.

    Cr Cocks accepted his views were not shared by the majority of the Wanaka Community Board, which in February voted in favour of keeping the five-knot restriction.

    Mr Watson said he was surprised the hearings panel had taken a different approach to that of the Wanaka Community Board.

    Queenstown Lakes District Council corporate and regulatory general manager Roger Taylor said in a media release yesterday the hearings panel had to weigh the issue of safety versus amenity.

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  3. Tony737
    Tony737

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    We better organise a trip up it before the end of October & they change there minds :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  4. Mike
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    I see they want more dams on the Clutha

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  5. Dawn
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    Here's the latest on the Hunter River Debate:
    Jet-boat speed ruling deferred
    Home » News » Queenstown Lakes
    By James Beech on Wed, 29 Apr 2009
    News: Queenstown Lakes
    A proposal to remove the jet-boat speed limit on the Hunter River was sent back to the hearing panel by the Queenstown Lakes District Council after protests during the public forum yesterday.

    The draft Waterways Navigation and Safety Bylaw was recommended for adoption, but concerns relating to the proposed removal of the 5-knot speed limit on the river were voiced before the start of the full council meeting.

    Field officer Cliff Halford said Otago Fish and Game did not approve of jet-boating on the Hunter River and did not support removing the speed limit because of the river's special environmental and scenic values.

    "Jet-boating on smaller rivers is a dominating activity that . . . may result in displacement of anglers. Safety is also a concern."

    Kawarau Jet lawyer Jim Castiglione said the operator and other submitters had not had enough time to review the draft legislation. Kawarau Jet was only made aware of the council's intention to adopt the bylaw last Friday, he said.

    Upper Clutha Angling Club secretary Rick Boyd said there was potential conflict between anglers in the water and "fleets of jet-boats buzzing by".

    However, Jet Boating New Zealand rivers officer Eddie McKenzie said jet-boating opened up the Hunter River to people of all ages and abilities and urged the council to consider navigational and safety issues rather than "environmental and emotional" issues in the draft bylaw.

    Council regulatory and corporate services general manager Roger Taylor said the public notification of the bylaw review and draft fully complied with the Local Government Act.

    Councillors identified a contradiction between the draft bylaw working-party recommendation that the 5-knot speed limit on Hunter River be removed annually from November 1 to April 30, and the district plan, which prohibits motorised craft on Hunter River from May to October inclusive to protect trout spawning.

    Cr Gillian MacLeod was in favour of maintaining the status quo and addressing the plan. The Hunter River was too valuable to put at risk and maps of greater clarity were needed by councillors, she said.

    Chief executive Duncan Field said there was no legal incompatibility between the Hunter River aspects of the draft bylaw and district plan. However, it would most likely be tested in court in a prosecution for an infringement of the 5-knot speed limit and the court would refer to the bylaw, he said.

    Crs Cath Gilmour and John R. Wilson agreed there was no hurry for the Hunter River recommendation to be adopted at this point.

    "Get the maps right, get the wording right and come back in a month," Mr Wilson said.

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  6. Tony737
    Tony737

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    If it's of such special environmental value they should ban fishing on it too!!

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  7. Mike
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    Yep or stop the fishermen from flying in in their noisy planes!!!!! I dont see why both groups cant get some use from it. Maybe make fishing only for a certain time then ban the fishing and allow the boats for the a similar period of time!!

    Posted 12 years ago    #                  
  8. Dawn
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    Here's some more on the debate about jet boating the Hunter River:

    By Matthew Haggart on Fri, 16 Oct 2009
    News: Queenstown Lakes
    Battle lines are being drawn by a quartet of heavy-hitting submitters who oppose the uplifting of jet-boat restrictions in the scenic and remote Hunter River at the head of Lake Hawea.

    A proposal to amend the Queenstown Lakes District Council's navigation safety bylaw and uplift a speed limit of five knots on the Hunter River is being opposed by the Department of Conservation, the Otago Fish and Game Council, the Upper Clutha Forest and Bird organisation, and the Upper Clutha Environmental Society.

    However, Otago and Southland-based spokesmen for the New Zealand Jetboating Association said the four groups were using "emotional issues" to argue their case and that their concerns were already addressed under the regulations in the council's district plan.

    Southland Rivers Jetboating spokesman Eddie McKenzie said the Queenstown Lakes councillors had "shifted the goalposts" by sending a recommendation to uplift the speed limit back for reconsideration by a working party.

    Considering amenity values and the environmental effects of jet-boats on the Hunter River "just wasn't needed", he said.

    The amenity arguments and environmental concerns were dealt with during six years of negotiations for the district plan and were supposed to apply for all the rivers in the Queenstown Lakes, Mr McKenzie said.

    The vice-chairman of Otago Jetboating, Fraser Morrison, said the river could be shared by different users and the proposal to uplift the five-knot limit only applied for six months of the year.

    Submissions released to the Otago Daily Times by Doc, Fish and Game, Forest and Bird, and the environmental society outlined similar concerns about the degradation of the Hunter River and the surrounding valley's remote wilderness area.

    Noise, increased water wake, and safety concerns, alongside threats to stocks of fish and native birds, were all issues being raised in submissions against allowing motorised watercraft to navigate up the Hunter River.

    The river was considered a relatively unmodified braided river and was habitat to threatened species, Doc and the environmental society said, while Forest and Bird and Fish and Game were concerned about the damaging effects of the boats.

    A large group of "commercial" users of the river, who were already disturbing the remote values of the area, were hiding behind purported recreational values and wanted to exclude jet-boats, Mr Mackenzie said.

    "You've got helicopters, four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorbikes, and planes delivering commercial fishing guides and others into the Hunter [River]. Yet, these same interest groups and people argue that jet-boats will disturb the tranquil wilderness."

    Public submissions about the proposal to amend the bylaw close today and must be made to the Queenstown Lakes District Council by 5pm.

    A council working party comprising councillors Lyal Cocks, Leigh Overton and Mel Gazzard will consider a recommendation on whether the bylaw is amended.

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  9. Dawn
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    By Matthew Haggart on Wed, 28 Oct 2009
    Your Town: Hawea | News: Queenstown Lakes
    An overwhelming majority of public submissions oppose allowing jet-boats on the remote Hunter River at the head of Lake Hawea.

    A Queenstown Lakes District Council working party has been charged with reviewing an existing navigation bylaw.

    The bylaw effectively bans jet-boats and jet skis from the Hunter River.

    The council received 79 public submissions about a proposal to uplift the 5 knot speed limit.

    The limit prevents motorised watercraft travelling upstream on the river.

    Sixty-six submitters are opposed to changing the speed limit.

    Thirteen submissions were made in support of changing it.

    The Hunter River is one of the few braided, navigable, rivers in the Lakes district to which jet-boaters do not already have access under the council's district plan.

    The river and remote valley are together considered one of the remaining wilderness areas in the district.

    The area is famed for its scenic amenity values, native birdlife, and quality freshwater fisheries.

    Nearly all the opposing submitters say the Hunter River should be protected from the "threat" of jet-boating.

    Safety issues for anglers, noise levels, and adverse effects on trout fishing were all cited as concerns.

    The 13 submitters who supported the council's proposed amendment - which would only apply during an annual six-month period between November and April - said the large size of the river would enable multiple uses and valley activities to co-exist.

    Some of the supporting submissions also cited existing commercial users, such as guided fishing and hunting expeditions flying aircraft and/or driving four-wheel-drive vehicles into the valley, as having a similar effect on amenity values in the area.

    A council working party of councillors Lyal Cocks, Leigh Overton (both of Wanaka), and Mel Gazzard (Queenstown) will consider the submissions, and will visit the river.

    An original recommendation to uplift the 5 knot speed limit was sent back to the working party for reconsideration at a full council meeting in July.

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  10. Tony737
    Tony737

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    Do we know if it has an uplifting for this summer while they argue about it?

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  11. Sonic
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    If it's of such special environmental value they should ban fishing on it too!! [/quote]
    Now that would set the cat amongst the pigeons would it not? Either share or ban it all. After all many Jet Boaters are also fishermen too.

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  12. Tony737
    Tony737

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    I emailed the Otago rivers Officer, he says there is no uplifting this summer but they have another hearing in December & are also looking at going to the environmental court.

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  13. detroitdog
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    look at the waimak gorge! with all the boating it gets you stop and all you can hear is bird song and see clear water.A jetboater isn't going to boat the Hunter in flood which has more impact i believe than a boat wake!Crikey the motorbikes and 4x4s would do more harm and im sure there wont be a fleet of boats heading up all at once! for Petes sake people get a grip! Share or BAN EVERYONE!! :anger:

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  14. Tony737
    Tony737

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    There are obviously a lot of agenda's about this river, with fishing guides wanting the place to themselves & they seem to have forgotten how much noise a chopper makes flying there clients in!!

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  15. Dawn
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    I also think it should be everyone or no-one and agree with Tony I think some people are looking out for themselves. Growing up in Lake Hawea both Mike and I have spent a bit of time in the Hunter, it's a great place that EVERYONE should be able to share and using a bit of common sense and respect for all users should be able to be enjoyed by all.

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  16. detroitdog
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    Dawn - 1 day ago  » 
    I also think it should be everyone or no-one and agree with Tony I think some people are looking out for themselves. Growing up in Lake Hawea both Mike and I have spent a bit of time in the Hunter, it's a great place that EVERYONE should be able to share and using a bit of common sense and respect for all users should be able to be enjoyed by all.

    yip i agree they need to pull their heads out of their ar$es ,and as for changing the goal posts!!?? :anger: :anger: :scorn:

    Posted 11 years ago    #                  
  17. Tony737
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    http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/wanaka/121291/hunter-river-decision-may-disappoint-both-sides

    Two 6 week upliftings

    Posted 10 years ago    #                  
  18. Mike
    Mike

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    I am going down in November to boat the Hunter River, There will be 2/3 boats from Wanaka and anyone keen let me know. Will work dates to suit but thinking mid nov,

    Mike

    Posted 10 years ago    #                  
  19. Hoihere
    Hoihere

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    Do you need a navigator ? Actually i suck at navigating ,but will be real quick to tell you when you stuff up :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

    Posted 10 years ago    #                  
  20. Hoihere
    Hoihere

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    How are we getting on for a date for this ?

    Posted 10 years ago    #                  
  21. Mike
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    ill let you know tonight or tomorrow :big_smile:

    Posted 10 years ago    #                  
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    smith025

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