Media release

ORC looking to set minimum flows and water allocations for the Clutha River/Mata-au

Tuesday 21 November 2017

“Why is the Clutha River/Mata-au important to you?” will be the key question posed to attendees at upcoming public consultation sessions held by Otago Regional Council (ORC).

Managing the amount of water in the Clutha/Mata-au will ensure there is always enough water in this iconic river to meet the environmental, cultural, economic and recreational needs of the community. 

To achieve this, minimum flows and water allocation limits may be set for the main stems of the Clutha/Mata-au, Kawarau and Hawea rivers as part of developing changes to Otago’s Water Plan. Lake level and water allocation limits may also be set for lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka, Hawea, Dunstan and Roxburgh. 

ORC Director Policy Planning & Resource Management Tanya Winter acknowledges that the Clutha River/Mata-au plays a huge role in commercial and recreational activity in the region, as well as contributing to the aesthetic appeal of Otago as a destination. 

“Water is important to people for many different reasons. We are holding a number of sessions around Otago to get an understanding of how the community values the Clutha River/Mata-au all the way along its various twists and bends, and including its source and hydro lakes,” she said. 

The first round of consultations will be geared towards getting feedback from the public about what they value about the Clutha River/Mata-au. Following this, ORC will prepare reports on hydrology and values. It will then identify management options for minimum flow and allocation limits and assess the impacts of the options on social, economic and cultural values. The aim of the plan change is to manage the amount of water in the Clutha River/Mata-au.    

The options and reports will be put forward for public consultation in a second round of sessions, beginning mid-2018. 

The first-round of public consultation sessions commence in Queenstown on 22 November and finish in Balclutha on 5 December. Members of the public can also have their say by providing their feedback online on ORC’s website. To provide feedback online, or for further information on the public consultation sessions, please go to:

Session times


Wednesday 22 November 2017
Copthorne Lakefront Hotel
88 Frankton Road
1.30pm - 3.30pm or
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Thursday 23 November 2017
Presbyterian Community Church
91 Tenby Street
1.30pm - 3.30pm or
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Monday 27 November 2017
The Gate
6 Barry Avenue
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Tuesday 28 November 2017
The Cellar Door
143 Centennial Avenue
1.30pm or 3.30pm or
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Monday 4 December 2017
Roxburgh Memorial Hall
120 Scotland Street
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Tuesday 5 December 2017
Rosebank Lodge
265 Clyde Street
1.30pm- 3.30pm or
6.30pm - 8.30pm


Clutha River

For more information contact

Tanya Winter
Director Policy Planning & Resource Management
Ph 0800 474 082 or 027 411 9459

Communications contact

Sian Sutton
Director Stakeholder Engagement

Ph 0800 474082 or 027 575 1799