Appendix B: Outstanding values and characteristics

This page has appendix B to the application by the New Zealand and the North Canterbury Fish and Game Councils and the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association for a water conservation order in respect of the Hurunui River. 

  1. When making an application for a Water Conservation Order, section 201(2)(b) of the Act requires that the applicant shall state the reasons for the application, with reference, where practicable, to the matters set out in sections 199, 200, and 207 of that Act.
  2. The reasons for this application are:
    • To recognise and sustain the outstanding amenity and intrinsic values and outstanding characteristics of the Upper Hurunui Waters by preserving them in their natural state; and
    • To protect the contribution that the Lower Hurunui River makes to the outstanding characteristics of the Upper Hurunui Waters.
  3. Appendix B describes the amenity and intrinsic values and outstanding characteristics of the Upper Hurunui Waters, and the contribution of the Lower Hurunui River to those characteristics, with reference to the matters set out on section 199 of the Act. The relevant tables, figures and maps appear within the text of this Appendix.
  4. Reasons given for the application in relation to section 200 and section 207 matters are respectively described in Appendices C and D of this application.

    Section 199(1)(a) and (b) Outstanding amenity or intrinsic values that should be preserved or protected

  5. The Applicants consider that the Upper Hurunui Waters have outstanding intrinsic and amenity values that should be preserved by a Water Conservation Order
  6. As described in Appendix A, the Upper Hurunui Waters remain largely in their natural state. These waters are widely recognised as having nationally significant habitat, fishery, wild and scenic, ecological, recreational and cultural values. Many of these waters are readily accessible from Christchurch and contribute to amenity values at regional, national and, through tourism, international levels. Other parts of these waters are remote and inaccessible, for which they are also highly valued. The Applicants consider that the Upper Hurunui Waters should be preserved in their natural state.
  7. While the Lower Hurunui River is not considered to be in its natural state, it contributes to the outstanding brown trout habitat and fishery in the Upper Hurunui Waters by providing rearing habitat and fish passage. The Lower Hurunui River also contributes to the outstanding recreational value of the Upper Hurunui Waters by providing a safe "get out" point for kayaking and canoeing. The Applicants consider that this contribution should be protected.
  8. The specific values of the Upper Hurunui Waters that the Applicants consider to be outstanding and the contribution of the Lower Hurunui River to those values are described in more detail below under the heading of each of the relevant sub-sections of section 199(2) of the Act. These values are also listed in Table 7 at the end of Appendix B in relation to the relevant water body.

    Section 199(2)(b)(i) Outstanding as a habitat for terrestrial or aquatic organisms

  9. The Upper Hurunui Waters in their natural state afford outstanding habitat for brown trout. These waters include all Upper Hurunui Waters, except Lake Marion, Lake Mary and Raupo Lagoon (and their tributaries).
  10. The Applicants seek preservation of the outstanding brown trout habitat afforded by these waters in their natural state.
  11. While the Lower Hurunui River is not in its natural state, protection is also sought for the contribution that it provides to the outstanding brown trout habitat in the Upper Hurunui Waters. The Applicants seek protection of this contribution by providing for fish passage.
  12. This section describes the outstanding brown trout habitat. The following section describes the related outstanding brown trout fishery.

    Lakes, tributaries and contributing waters

  13. The Hurunui Lakes provide habitat for juvenile and adult brown trout, in addition to providing additional spawning habitat. The lakes also provide passage for trout from the mainstem to tributaries of the lakes (such as the upper North Branch). The exceptions are Lake Marion, which is known to not support any trout, and Lake Mary and Raupo Lagoon, which are considered unlikely to support any trout.
  14. All tributaries are considered to provide important juvenile rearing habitat and spawning habitat, while larger tributaries such as the North Branch and the South Branch also provide holding water suitable for large adult trout. The exceptions are those waters which either contribute flow to, or discharge from, Lake Marion, Raupo Lagoon and Lake Mary, as these creeks and tributaries are considered unlikely to support any trout habitat.
  15. The contributing creeks and streams serve as trout nurseries for the wider Upper Hurunui fishery. These waters provide many kilometers of clean gravels suitable for trout spawning (and Chinook Salmon) while particularly high numbers of juvenile trout reside in small feeder creeks, indicating they are of significance as juvenile rearing habitat. It is considered these smaller creeks also provide refuge for adult trout during high flow periods.

    Mainstem from Lake Sumner outlet to immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River

  16. The mainstem of the Hurunui River from the Lake Sumner outlet to immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River supports high numbers of brown trout, particularly in the stable environment at and below the Lake Sumner outlet. Preliminary trout growth studies suggest that trout in the headwater fisheries of the North and South Branches (described in more detail below) may also use this reach to attain their rapid growth rates 2.
  17. The aquatic habitat for brown trout at and below the Lake Sumner outlet is thought to be optimal due mainly to water clarity and to the flow-stabilising influence of Lake Sumner, which acts as a natural buffer against the effects of floods on downstream river flow 3. The lake may also enrich the reach immediately below the outlet with plankton, thus benefiting invertebrate production. The presence of numerous riffles in this reach also suggests superior conditions for the production of invertebrates, which are likely to be the primary food source for trout in the Upper Hurunui River.

    Lower Hurunui River

  18. It is considered likely that trout in the Upper Hurunui Waters will travel throughout the river system at various stages of their lifecycle. The Lower Hurunui River therefore contributes to the habitat in the Upper Hurunui Waters by increasing the available rearing habitat.
  19. The Lower Hurunui River is not in its natural state, being affected by surface water takes and by non-point source discharges particularly from intensified land use.
  20. The Applicants seek protection of the contribution of the Lower Hurunui River to brown trout habitat in the Upper Hurunui Waters by maintaining fish passage throughout the entire Hurunui River including the Lower Hurunui River.

    Section 199(2)(b)(ii) Outstanding as a fishery

  21. 55. The Upper Hurunui Waters in their natural state afford an outstanding brown trout fishery. These waters include:
    • The North and South Branches; and
    • The Hurunui River mainstem between the Lake Sumner outlet and immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River.
  22. The Applicants seek preservation of the outstanding brown trout fishery afforded by these waters in their natural state. While the lower Hurunui River is no longer in its natural state, the Applicants seek protection of the contribution that it makes to the outstanding brown trout fishery in the Upper Hurunui Waters by protection of fish passage.

    North and South Branches

  23. The North Branch and the South Branch of the Hurunui River are both classified as trophy headwater brown trout fisheries 4. Each support populations of large brown trout, with catch information from one source suggesting the average size of fish caught in these waters may be over 6lb in weight and 25 inches in length 5.
  24. There have been few studies focused specifically on the North and South Branch fisheries although Greenaway (2001) has concluded that the "Lake Sumner outlet to Mandamus (including Hurunui South Branch) is of national significance for trout fishing" 6. In relation to the North Branch Greenaway notes that "the significance of the wilderness fishery above Lake Sumner is not clear. Some debate would be required to confirm the national status of this section of the study area" 7. In the absence of this debate Greenway conservatively concludes that the North Branch is of regional significance as a trout fishery.
  25. The Applicants consider that these waters constitute outstanding headwater trout fisheries. The natural state of these waters contributes to their productivity and suitability for large trout, as well as their amenity value as wild and scenic fisheries.

    Mainstem from Lake Sumner outlet to immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River

  26. The national importance of the trout fishery in the Hurunui River mainstem above the Mandamus confluence has been recognized consistently in expert reports 8.
  27. The reach of the Hurunui River mainstem downstream from the outlet of Lake Sumner to the Mandamus confluence has been subjected to regular drift diving surveys. These surveys confirm that the fishery in this reach supports high densities of brown trout, including high numbers of large fish.
  28. The results of a nation-wide drift diving survey which included this reach of the Hurunui River are provided in Table 1 below.
    River Reach surveyed   Date     Trout/km  
    Large (>40cm length) Medium (20 – 40 cm) Small (<20 cm)
    Hurunui   At Lake Sumner outlet 08/02/88 86 243 79
    Below Lake Sumner 09/03/83 36 50 52
    Buller   At Lake Rotoiti outlet 05/01/89 117 290 1917
    Below Lake Rotoiti 24/02/87 19 9 5
    Mohaka   Headwaters 01/02/88 78 37 58
    At Glenfalls 01/02/88 22 32 45
    Mataura At Nokomai 10/03/88 16 11 9
    Motueka At Woodstock 26/02/85 94 123 58
    Ahuriri At SH bridge 11/02/86 13 53 24
    Manganuioteao At Olivers Bridge 03/02/81 26 10 5

    Table 1: Drift diving survey results showing comparative trout abundance 9

  29. Table 1 demonstrates that lake outlet fisheries such as the Hurunui River below Lake Sumner and the Buller River at Lake Rotoiti typically exhibit high trout abundance. Table 1 also shows that trout density further below Lake Sumner compares favourably with that found in other rivers regarded as supporting outstanding trout fisheries. This is consistent with findings that the Upper Hurunui River qualifies for inclusion in the ‘high trout abundance’ category 10.
  30. Fish & Game has continued to drift dive reaches of the Upper Hurunui River since 1995. A map depicting the reaches subject to drift diving is provided below.

    Map 6: Reaches of the Upper Hurunui River mainstem that have been subject to annual drift dive surveys by Fish & Game since 1995 (black lines denote upper and lower limits of each dive site).

     

  31. With reference to Map 6, the results of surveying from “Dive Site 1” are shown in Figure 1 below.

    Figure 1: Annual drift diving results from Dive Site 111

  32. Figure 1 includes the 1988 figure for comparison.12 The 1988 survey appears representative of a high, but not exceptional trout density. For example, the trout density in the 1988 survey exceeded that recorded in 7 subsequent surveys (1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007) but was less than was recorded in five other surveys (1996, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2003).
  33. Again with reference to Map 6, the results of surveying from “Dive Site 2” are provided in Figure 2 overleaf.
  34. Figure 2: Annual drift diving results from Dive Site 213

  35. Figure 2 includes the 1983 result for comparison. Again, it can be observed that the 1983 survey depicted a high density but was not an exceptional result.

    Section 199(2)(b)(iii) Outstanding for its wild, scenic or other natural characteristics

  36. The Applicants consider that all of the Upper Hurunui Waters have outstanding natural characteristics. The Applicants consider that these waters are largely in their natural state and should be preserved by a Water Conservation Order.
  37. Historical and contemporary assessments of the wild and scenic values of the upper Hurunui catchment attest to its outstanding natural characteristics. For instance, Sir Julius von Haast noted the beauty of Lake Sumner and its alpine setting from a visit in the 1860’s 14:

    …The peaceful deep blue surface of the beautiful lake lay quite 150 feet beneath us, surrounded on both sides by high mountains which, for about 2000 feet above it, were clothed with thick forest…. It was indeed a great pleasure to be able once more to enjoy nature in her pure virgin solitude. The quiet mirror of the lake, only disturbed here and there by ducks and other water birds; the dark forest, with the rugged rocky peaks above it, reflected in the lake, formed a landscape of such exquisite beauty that I was very unwilling to leave it.

  38. In the 1980s, a national assessment of significance rated the source of the Hurunui River down to the Mandamus confluence and including Lake Sumner highly enough to include them in a list of Group 1 ‘highest priority’ waters deserving inclusion in a Schedule of Protected Waters.15 The outstanding values cited included wilderness, scenic, recreational, fishery, wildlife and cultural values.
  39. In the 1990s, a Canterbury regional landscape study found that Lake Sumner area met the test of “outstandingness” under Section 6(b) of the Act. The Lake Sumner area was defined as an inter-montane range and basin landscape comprised of the visual catchments of Lakes Marion, Sumner, Taylor, Mason, Sheppard and Loch Katrine and down to the South Branch of the Hurunui. Unfortunately this study expressly avoided the question of whether any regional landscapes would meet an outstandingness test on a national basis. 16 A subsequent district-level landscape study of the Hurunui River catchment also classified the Hurunui lakes, the upper Hurunui River and its mountain range catchment as having outstanding landscape values.17 Again, no tests were applied to assess outstandingness on a national level.
  40. The high natural character of the Hurunui River above the Mandamus confluence has been formally recognised in a number of plans, strategies, policy statements and other documents at national, regional and district levels. For example, the high ecological and semi-wilderness values of the upper Hurunui catchment are recognised by the Department of Conservation18, which states that the Department will “…support an application for a water conservation order for the upper Hurunui River and catchment”.
  41. Appendix D provides further discussion of relevant provisions of plans and strategies in the context of matters that shall be considered by a Special Tribunal.

    Section 199(2)(b)(v) Outstanding for recreational purposes

  42. The Applicants consider that the Upper Hurunui Waters are outstanding for recreational purposes.
  43. Assessments of the recreational value of the Upper Hurunui Waters have consistently classified all or part of the resource as being of national significance. Justifications for this level of significance have included high reliability (i.e. recreational users rarely find their expectations are not met when using the area), low conflicts in use and the high quality of the surrounding environment.19
  44. There are a wide variety of recreational opportunities available in the Upper Hurunui Waters including water-based (e.g. fishing and kayaking) and land-based activities (e.g. tramping). Commercial recreation activities also operate on or adjacent to the river. For instance, concessions have been granted by the Department of Conservation for commercial canoeing/kayaking (2) and guided fishing (5) operations on land owned or administered by the Department in the Hurunui catchment.20
  45. The particular recreational purposes for which the Upper Hurunui Waters are used and which the Applicants consider are outstanding are:
    • Angling (brown trout); and
    • Whitewater kayaking and canoeing.

    Angling (brown trout)

  46. The Applicants seek preservation of the outstanding angling opportunity afforded by the Upper Hurunui Waters in their natural state. These waters include:
    • The North and South Branches; and
    • The Hurunui River mainstem between the Lake Sumner outlet and immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River.

    North and South Branches

  47. Most surveys of angler use and perceptions have not sought to differentiate North and South Branch anglers from anglers who recreate on the upper mainstem. Therefore while this information is presented in this application below in relation to the mainstem, it is likely that some of this survey information also includes use and perceptions of the North and South Branch.
  48. As already noted in relation to brown trout fishery values, Greenaway (2001) has concluded that the South Branch is of national significance for trout fishing and that more debate is required to confirm the national significance of the North Branch.
  49. Anecdotal evidence suggests most users are either guides and their clients, or discerning expert anglers. One angling guide stated that over 90% of his clients who fished the headwaters were overseas visitors. 21
  50. The Applicants believe that foot access is legally available all along the North Branch. Four wheel drive access to Loch Katrine is unrestricted, but anglers require a combination to a locked gate from the Department of Conservation if they wish to continue driving to the head of Lake Sumner.
  51. The Applicants believe that foot access is also legally available along the South Branch although the geomorphology of the South Branch gorge itself makes it difficult to walk this section. Vehicular access beyond Esk Head Station (at the end of the gorge) is along a private road and permission must be gained from Esk Head Station to use this road.
  52. The headwater fisheries are likely to be preferred by anglers seeking a ‘wilderness’ experience, who value the high scenic values of the river and its surrounding landscapes.

    Mainstem from Lake Sumner outlet to immediately above the confluence with the Mandamus River

  53. As noted above, a number of surveys exist which quantify angler use and perceptions in the Upper Hurunui River, but few differentiate between use and perception of the mainstem above the Mandamus confluence, and in the North and South Branches. However, as the mainstem attracts the great majority of anglers, it can be assumed that the surveys summarized below relate mostly to use and perception of the mainstem reach.
  54. Angler effort on the Hurunui River above and below the Mandamus confluence was described in the National Angler Survey for the 2001/2002 season. 22 This survey also differentiated between usage in upper and lower parts of other outstanding fisheries. This allows us to compare relative usage between upper river reaches as shown in Table 2 below.
    River Reach Estimated usage (angler days ± 1 standard error)
    Hurunui Above Mandamus 2910 ± 350
    Buller All reaches above Lyell 1980 ± 360
    Mohaka Upstream from SH5 bridge 3250 ± 580
    Mataura Above Gore 15 810 ± 1 800
    Motueka Above Wangapeka 1 010 ± 180

    Table 2: Comparative angler effort in upper reaches of outstanding trout fisheries

  55. Table 2 shows that the Hurunui mainstem above Mandamus receives comparable angler usage to the upper reaches of other outstanding fisheries. It is notable that the Upper Hurunui River attracts a significant level of angler effort despite the presence of potential substitute headwater fisheries in the upper Waimakariri, Rakaia River and Buller River catchments. The Mataura above Gore receives higher use than the other upper reach fisheries, possibly due to shorter travel time from a population centre and the ease of access.
  56. The origin of anglers include local, regional, national and international visitors, although the exact breakdown of angler origin is not known. It has been estimated that approximately 7% of all visitors to the river are from overseas, but this figure includes all visitors (not just anglers) and covers the entire Hurunui River (not just above the Mandamus confluence). 23 Anecdotal evidence suggests the international percentage is likely to be high for the Upper Hurunui River fishery.
  57. Angler perception surveys suggest that the high natural character of the Upper Hurunui River is a key factor influencing why anglers choose to fish this reach. In one survey of Hurunui anglers 24, scenic beauty and solitude above the Mandamus River confluence were considered exceptional by 80% of respondents 25.
  58. A series of Fisheries Environmental Reports in the 1980s published the results of extensive angler perception surveys throughout New Zealand. Anglers were asked to rate seven factors contributing to the angler experience on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 meaning ‘of high significance’. Ratings for ‘scenic beauty’ and ‘solitude’ enable assessment of the significance of natural character to the angling experience. In Table 3 below, the results for the Hurunui River are compared with results from other rivers already recognized in Water Conservation Orders for outstanding trout fisheries.
    River Indicators of natural character on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being ‘high’)
       Scenic beauty Solitude rating
    Hurunui River 5 5
    Buller River (above Lyell) 4 4
    Mohaka River 5 (5) 5 (5)
    Mataura River 3 (3) 4 (3)
    Motueka River 3 3
    Manganuioteao River 5 5

    Table 3: Angler perceptions of scenic beauty and solitude 26

  59. This survey suggests that Hurunui anglers factor the natural character of the Hurunui River highly in their decision to recreate there. It is also notable that the Buller River, whose wild and scenic natural character has already been recognized as ‘outstanding’ via a Water Conservation Order, received lower angler ratings for scenic beauty and solitude than the Hurunui River.
  60. It is also likely that anglers value the reliability of the angling experience in the mainstem above Mandamus. The flow moderating effect of Lake Sumner creates unusually stable flows in the mainstem above the confluence with the South Branch. This is likely to minimize the frequency of time that an angler will encounter unacceptably high or low flows in this reach. The extent of fishable water in the mainstem above Mandamus also reduces the possibility of user conflict.
  61. 95. The Applicants believe that foot access is legally available along the mainstem. Only a short walk is required to the river where the Lake Sumner Road passes close to the river between the Sister's Stream confluence and the top of Maori Gully. Above that reach, more walking is required which reduces the risk of user conflict. Access is more restricted to the wild, remote and scenic gorged reaches from Maori Gully to immediately above the Mandamus River confluence. However, these difficult to reach waters can be accessed by kayaking or raft, while foot access may be possible overland to certain reaches with the permission of the landowner.

    Whitewater kayaking and canoeing

  62. The Applicants seek preservation of the outstanding kayaking opportunity afforded by the mainstem of the Hurunui River between the Sister’s Stream confluence to immediately above the Mandamus confluence.
  63. The Applicants also seek that the reach from immediately above the Mandamus confluence to “Waitaha Station” be protected for its contribution to outstanding kayaking. This reach is part of the Hawarden Gap section and, although it is not considered to be outstanding in its own right, it provides kayakers with access to a safe get-out point.
  64. Specific sections used by paddlers are identified in Table 4 below.
    Section Put-in Take-out
    Top Gorge M33 543254 (i.e. Sisters Stream confluence) M33 557229 (i.e. Jollie Brook swing bridge)
    Jollie Brook M33 557229 (i.e. Jollie Brook swing bridge) M33 591173 (i.e. Maori Gully put-in)
    Maori Gully M33 591173 (i.e. Seaward river confluence) M33 615177 (i.e. where road first reaches river west of Jack’s saddle)
    Hawarden Gap M33 615177 (i.e. Maori Gully take-out) M33 763211 (i.e. Waitaha station)

    Table 4: Upper Hurunui River sections commonly kayaked

  65. The kayaking sections described in Table 4 exhibit their own individual characteristics.

    Upper Gorge

  66. The "Upper Gorge" reach of the mainstem includes the "Top Gorge" and "Jollie Brook" sections identified in Map 7 below.

    Map 7: Kayaking sections known as “Top Gorge” and “Jollie Brook” (scale: 1:95,000. North is straight up the page)

  67. The “Top Gorge” and “Jollie Brook” sections are both Grade 2 and are often kayaked as a single section. The Top Gorge section departs the road into a high vertical-walled scenic gorge, which is very spectacular for such a modest grade. In the Jollie Brook section the river comes back to the road providing easy access for slaloms, rescue and beginner courses.

    Lower Gorge

  68. The "Lower Gorge" reach of the mainstem includes the "Maori Gully" and "Hawarden Gap" sections identified in Map 8 below.

    Map 8: Kayaking sections known as “Maori Gully” and “Hawarden Gap” (scale: 1:95,000. North is straight up the page)

  69. The “Maori Gully” and “Hawarden Gap” sections are classified as Grade 3 although the Maori Gully section can be Grade 4 in higher flows, and parts of the Hawarden Gap may be considered Grade 2. Maori Gully provides a step up in difficulty with a variety of challenging features depending on the flow. The Hawarden Gap is the first taste of semi-wilderness kayaking for many paddlers, as the river departs far from the road into the Canterbury high country.
  70. The Upper Hurunui River receives year-round use by local clubs such as the Whitewater Canoe Club and the University of Canterbury Canoe Club, visiting clubs from Auckland to Otago, polytechnics and schools, kayak shop courses, slalom competitions, and by numerous paddlers unaffiliated with the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association (NZRCA).
  71. The NZRCA river use survey conducted in 1991 showed that the Hurunui River was the 5th most paddled river in New Zealand after the Buller, Waikato, Manawatu, and Tongariro Rivers. 27 The survey also indicated that the Hurunui River was Canterbury’s most paddled river.
  72. The NZRCA usage survey also allows comparison to be made between usage of specific reaches of rivers, rather than simply between rivers as a whole. It also enables river reaches with comparable grades of difficulty to be compared in terms of their usage.
  73. Table 4 demonstrates the relative popularity of the Grade 2 section of the Hurunui River, known as the “Upper Gorge” (including the Top Gorge and Jollie Brook sections referred to above). Note that rivers marked with an asterisk denote a river which has been recognized as outstanding via a Water Conservation Order for recreational purposes.

    Rank River Section Grade Number of visits
    1 Manawatu Gorge 2 3850
    2 Otaki Gorge 2 2740
    3 Rangitikei* Utiku to Mangaweka 2 2104
    4 Hurunui “Upper Gorge” (meaning Top Gorge and/or Jollie Brook) 2 1468
    5 Rangitikei* Wheao to Murupara 2 1318
    6 Tongariro Boulder Reach to Lake Taupo 2 1232

    Table 5: The six most commonly kayaked grade 2 river sections in New Zealand28

  74. Table 5 shows that the Grade 2 Upper Gorge (i.e. Top Gorge and/or Jollie Brook sections) is the fourth most visited water by kayakers in New Zealand. It is notable that the Upper Gorge section compares favourably with a reach of Rangitikei River recognized as an outstanding water for recreational purposes.
  75. Table 6 below demonstrates the relative popularity of the Lower Gorge Grade 3 section of the Upper Hurunui River (i.e. Maori Gully and Hawarden Gap). Again, rivers marked with an asterisk have been recognized as outstanding for recreational purposes via existing Water Conservation Orders.

    Rank River Section Grade Number of visits
    1 Waikato Nga Awapurua 3 2769
    2 Buller* Murchison to Lyell 3 2156
    3 Tongariro Potu Intake Dam to Boulder Reach 3 1674
    4 Buller* Lake Rotoiti to Owen River 3 1432
    5 Kawarau* Dogleg 3 1363
    6 Hurunui Maori Gully and/or Hawarden Gap 3 1326

    Table 6: The six most commonly kayaked grade 3 river sections in New Zealand29

  76. Table 6 shows that “Maori Gully and/or Hawarden Gap” is the sixth most visited Grade 3 section in New Zealand. Again, it is notable that this usage figure is not dissimilar to those of other rivers recognized as nationally outstanding for canoeing.
  77. Since the date of the survey, relative usage on the Hurunui River is likely to have increased due to teaching use by polytechnic and other instruction groups, particularly for multi-sport certification.
  78. One of the reasons that the Upper Hurunui River is so highly valued by paddlers, and in particular by beginner to intermediate paddlers, is for the variety of challenges it presents with different flows.
  79. As noted in Appendix A, the flow moderation effect created by Lake Sumner prevents the river in this reach from dropping so low that it is no longer of interest to paddlers. Conversely, when the river experiences a fresh, water levels stays up for an extended period making it easier to “catch the flood high”.
  80. The geomorphology of the gorges creates a variety of different canoeing experiences at different flows. Table 7 below uses the Maori Gully section as an example of how the kayaking experience changes at different flows.

     

    Flow (cumecs) Characteristics for canoeing
    < 30 Technical pool-drop character ideal for beginner paddlers pushing into grade 3, as the drops are distinct and can be inspected or portaged and the pools provide plenty of time to recover from any mishaps. Low flows often occur in late summer and the heat of the sun along with a slower journey from its source combine to provide unusually warm water for a South Island river. Again this is ideal for people pushing their grade.
    30-50 Degree of technicality reduces but the river becomes faster and pushier.
    60-80 Some technicality return as larger hydraulic features that need avoidance appear and the river gains even more push. Some of the most technically challenging flows overall on the Hurunui.
    80-100 Some big surf waves and big holes appearing.
    100-200 The Gully is then considered Grade 4, with large hydraulic features and lines a kayaker really doesn’t want to miss.
    >200 Becomes more of a ‘roller-coaster’ run of large wave trains.

    Table 7: Characteristics of kayaking different flows in Maori Gully

  81. The other Hurunui River gorges react in a similar way to different flows. The more open parts of the Hurunui River change less markedly, but in the opinion of expert kayakers, still surprisingly more than other rivers with a similar gradient do. This variation provides paddlers with different challenges each time they visit, and different features to develop specific skills on before trying harder rivers in the Buller district or on the West Coast.

    Section 199(2)(c) Characteristics which any water body has or contributes to, and which are considered to be of outstanding significance in accordance with tikanga Maori

  82. The Applicants understand that the waters of the Hurunui River catchment have characteristics which are considered by tangata whenua to be of outstanding significance in accordance with tikanga Maori.
  83. The Hurunui River and Lake Sumner / Hoka Kura have Statutory Acknowledgement status under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 30. This status represents the acknowledgement by the Crown of Ngāi Tahu cultural, spiritual, historic and/or traditional association with the Hurunui River and Lake Sumner/ Hoka Kura. The Hurunui River is identified as having important associations because of its mahinga kai (food sources), the presence of nohoanga (settlements), traditional trails and other taonga. Lake Sumner is acknowledged because of its role in cultural traditions as an important gathering source of mahinga kai and an integral part of the trail ways network. There are also a number of urupä (burial places) and wāhi tapu (sites and places sacred to Maori people) in the area.
  84. Environment Canterbury commissioned a tangata whenua values report for the Hurunui River31 to assist understanding of tangata whenua aspirations for managing the Hurunui River. The Hurunui was identified as one of the most important of the traditional trail ways, used by the Ngāi Tahu tupuna of Canterbury to access the pounamu resources of Te Tai o Poutini (West Coast). The Hurunui River course also represents the physical boundary marker between the two Ngāi Tahu hapu of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāti Kuri. In the Upper Hurunui River, areas of particular significance for their wāhi tapu status include the gorges above the Mandamus confluence and Lake Sumner. The catchment is also a source of mahinga kai, particularly tuna (eel) and inanga (native fish).
  85. Tangata whenua stated that they wanted to preserve the existing course of the Hurunui River to ensure continuity in terms of its function as a traditional inter-tribal boundary and to avoid the following effects:
    • Loss of values or unnatural alteration to the unique character Ngāi Tahu attach to the whole of the Hurunui River catchment, particularly the Upper Hurunui catchment upstream of the Mandamus confluence
    • Changes to the existing natural flows including any flow stabilization and damming.
    • Loss of access to or damage to wāhi tapu and wāhi taoka values and sites of significance to Ngāi Tahu within the Hurunui River catchment, in particular the outstanding heritage features that follow the path of the ancient trail way, the gorges above the Mandamus confluence, and the headwaters of the main river and all tributaries.
  86. Outcomes sought by tangata whenua for the management of the Hurunui River included:
    • Affording total protection to existing flows above existing irrigation takes, as these reflect a healthy mauri not impacted by modification that must be preserved.
    • Protecting the existing natural character of the headwaters of the main river and all tributaries.
    • Designating the whole of the Hurunui River as outstanding, with special significance applied to the upper catchment upstream of Mandamus including the Hurunui Lakes, in relation to natural and cultural character; heritage values; and native bird ecology.
  87. Te Poha o Tohu Raumati (Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura Iwi Management Plan 2005) is a statement of Ngāti Kuri values and policies in regard to natural resource & environmental management. It has been officially granted the status of an ‘iwi management plan’ by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and in it Ngāti Kuri seek the following outcomes for the Hurunui River:
    • To ensure that cultural and natural landscape values are recognised and provided for in management decisions.
    • To protect and enhance traditional and customary associations that tangata whenua
    • have with the Hurunui River.
    • To support and encourage catchment management (ki uta ki tai).
    • To protect the headwaters of the Hurunui to ensure continuous healthy flow from mountains to sea.
    • To ensure mahinga kai have uninhibited access to and from the river, its tributaries, associated lakes, and the sea.
    • To generally oppose any large scale proposal to dam, extract or otherwise reduce, change or alter the existing flows of any part of the Hurunui River (e.g. hydro and irrigation schemes).
    • To ensure that activities in the upper catchment have no adverse effect on mahinga kai, water quality and water quantity in the lower catchment.
  88. The Applicants consider that preservation of the Upper Hurunui River in its natural state, and protection of the contribution of the Lower Hurunui River by providing for fish passage, should also provide (at least in part) for the outstanding significance of the Hurunui River to tangata whenua.

    Summary

  89. A summary of the waters covered by this application, and their outstanding values, is provided in Table 7 below.
Category Specific waterbody Outstanding characteristics
Hurunui Lakes Lakes Sumner, Taylor, Sheppard, Mason, Marion, Mary, Loch Katrine and Raupo Lagoon
  • Natural character, wild and scenic
  • Habitat for brown trout (excluding Lake Marion, Raupo Lagoon, and Lake Mary).
  • Cultural value in accordance with tikanga Maori
Mainstem Reach from Lake Sumner outlet to immediately above the confluence with Mandamus River
  • Natural character, wild and scenic
  • Habitat for brown trout
  • Brown trout fishery
  • Angling (brown trout) • Kayaking (from Sister’s Stream confluence only)
  • Cultural value in accordance with tikanga Maori
Reach from immediately above the Mandamus confluence to the sea
  • Contribution to outstanding brown trout fishery and brown trout habitat (in the form of fish passage)
  • Contribution to outstanding kayaking (from above the Mandamus confluence to “Waitaha Station” only)
Tributaries North Branch from headwaters to exit into Lake Sumner (including contributing waters)
  • Natural character, wild and scenic
  • Habitat for brown trout
  • Brown trout fishery
  • Headwater angling (brown trout)
  • Cultural value in accordance with tikanga Maori
South Branch from headwaters to confluence with mainstem (including North Esk and other contributing waters)
  • Natural character, wild and scenic
  • Habitat for brown trout
  • Brown trout fishery
  • Headwater angling (brown trout)
  • Cultural value in accordance with tikanga Maori
All other tributaries in the catchment from the headwaters to immediately above the Mandamus confluence (including contributing waters)
  • Natural character, wild and scenic
  • Habitat for brown trout (excluding any creeks and streams which contribute flow to, or discharge from, Lake Marion, Raupo Lagoon or Lake Mary).
  • Cultural value in accordance with tikanga Maori

Table 7: Summary of waters and associated values covered by this Application


2 Hayes & Quarterman (2003).

3 Bonnett & Docherty (1985).

4 Jellyman and Graynoth (1994).

5 Chappie Chapman pers comm. (February 2006).

6 Page 23.

7 Page 28.

8 See for instance Grindell & Guest (1986), Teirney et al. (1987), Greenaway (2001) and Ministry for the Environment (2004).

9 Figures from Teirney & Jowett (1990).

10 Jowett & Hicks (1985).

11 The 2004 survey could not be completed due to poor water clarity.

12 Slight differences in size grouping occurred between the earlier survey and those undertaken by Fish & Game. Teirney & Jowett (1990) used size categories of <20cm for small trout (c.f. Fish & Game <15cm), 20-40cm for medium trout (c.f. 15-45cm), and >40cm for large trout (c.f. >45cm). This difference probably led to more fish being categorized by Fish & Game as ‘medium’, and less fish being classified as “small” or “large”.

13 The 2004 survey could not be completed due to poor water clarity.

14 Julian von Haast (1879); cited in McLeod (1972: 287).

15 Grindell and Guest (1986).

16 Boffa Miskell Ltd & Lucas Associates (1993).

17 Lucas Associates (1995).

18 Department of Conservation ((2002).

19 See for example Department of Conservation (1994), Sutherland-Downing and Elley (2004), Ministry for the Environment (2004), Ministry of Tourism (2004), MfE & MAF (2004), and Greenaway (2001).

20 Armstrong (2006).

21 Chappie Chapman, pers. comm. (February 2007).

22 Salmon angler use of this reach is negligible, estimated at 2% of all salmon angling on the River (Greenaway, (2001)). The figure of 3,000 angler days is considered conservative, as approximately 1,000 angler days were not attributed either to above or below Mandamus (Unwin & Image (2003)).

23 Greenaway (2001).

24 Teirney et al. (1982).

25 Greenaway (2001) found that 60% of river users thought of the river as ‘special’ or ‘unique’, with the main reasons being the pleasant environment, peacefulness, water quality and quantity, and location. .However, that survey finding did not differentiate amenity gained from upper river users from that gained downstream of Mandamus, where the river is not in its natural state. It is therefore suggested this is a considerable understatement of the value attributed by recreational users to the quality of the natural environment in the Upper Hurunui River.

26 Figures for the Ahuriri River were not able to be sourced, which explains the absence of this river from this table. Figures for the Hurunui River are from Teirney et al. (1987); Buller and Motueka figures are from Richardson et al. (1984a); figures for the Mohaka are from Richardson et al. (1984b) and Richardson et al. (1987); Manganuioteao figures are also from Richardson et al. (1987); and the Mataura figures are from Teirney et al. (1984) and Richardson et al. (1984c). By way of explanation, as the Mohaka formed the boundary between two areas, it was rated separately by anglers from the Hawke’s Bay and from Central North Island/Wanganui. Similarly, as the Mataura formed the boundary between two areas, it was rated separately by anglers from Otago and from Southland. Figures in brackets are the average rating given by Otago anglers.

27 Hunt et al. (1993).

28 The two Grade 2 sections were treated as one section in the survey as they are adjacent and often paddled in
succession. They were not summed after the data-gathering phase.

29 The two Grade 3 sections were treated as one section in the survey as they are adjacent and often paddled in succession. They were not summed after the data-gathering phase.

30 See Schedules 20 and 21 of that Act.

31 Crengle (2002).

 

Reviewed:
25/11/08