Media release

Community input sought into North Otago river management strategy

Friday 1 May 2015

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is inviting people interested in the future management of the Kakanui and Kauru rivers in North Otago to learn about the council’s recent research and proposals for dealing with key issues confronting the two rivers, and provide feedback.

ORC is working with the community to develop a management strategy for the rivers focusing on:

  • the values that the community has told ORC are important to them
  • the natural tendencies of the river channel to move within the floodplain
  • the methods available to reduce the effects of bank erosion and flooding
  • methods for enhancing the river environment and its recreational opportunities, and
  • land use activities most suited to the river margins.

A public meeting is planned for Thursday 7 May from 7pm to 9pm at the Maheno Hall. ORC councillors and staff will be at the meeting to update progress on the strategy development and get public feedback on potential management options.

The meeting will be chaired by ORC councillor for Waitaki, Doug Brown.

Drop-in sessions will be held the following day (Friday May 8) where ORC staff will be available to discuss localised river issues in more detail with anyone interested.

These sessions are at the Maheno Hall from 11.30 am to 1.30pm and 4.30pm to 6pm, and at the Kauru Hall from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the council’s decision to hold the public consultation and the drop-in sessions reflected its desire to work with the local community.

“Incorporating local knowledge into the development of a long-term management plan for the rivers that reflects community aspirations and values is critical to the successful implementation of the strategy,” Cr Woodhead said.

Earlier this year ORC published updated information highlighting changes in the shape of the rivers’ channels due to high flows to help inform decisions by the wider community (including ORC) relating to gravel extraction, floodwater conveyance, and asset management.

For further information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Ph 027 2801635

Dr Gavin Palmer
Director engineering, hazards, and science
03 474 0827 or 0274 943 900