Two Canterbury rivers – the Otukaikino and Cam – took out 1st and 3rd place in the 2014 New Zealand River Awards for the most improved rivers in the country. The Oroua River in the Manawatu was the 2nd most improved river in New Zealand.
“The improvement in all three rivers has been driven mainly by better sewage treatment”, said to Andrew Gawith from the Morgan Foundation. “It’s a case of towns taking more responsibility for water quality in their local rivers.”
Landowners and community groups have also played a part in the improvement with riparian fencing and planting of waterways and wetlands, and also planting of erosion-prone hill country in the case of the Oroua catchment.
In addition to Awards for the three most improved rivers nationally, judges Dr Roger Young (Cawthron Institute) and Dr Clive Howard-Williams (NIWA) also identified the most improved river in each region where suitable data was available. This year improvement is being measured by the long-term decline in dissolved reactive phosphorus levels.
The Regional Award winners were:
Monitoring site trend improvement Regional Council
Mangere Stream at Knight Rd (14.5%) Northland
Lucas Creek (9.5%) Auckland
Ohinemuri River at Queens Head (10.7%) Waikato
Poukawa Stream at Stock Road (7.3%) Hawkes Bay
Waingongoro River at SH45 (3.8%) Taranaki
Motupipi at Reillys Bridge (6.3%) Tasman
Dunstan Creek at Beattie Road (14.5%) Otago
Mataura at Seaward Downs (5.5%) Southland
The three most improved rivers were:
South Branch (Otukaikino) Dickeys Road (37.8%) Canterbury
Oroua River at Awahuri Bridge (19.6%) Horizons
Cam River at Bramleys Road Bridge (19.0%) Canterbury
The Awards evening also featured a river story from each region. There were three finalists for the 2014 New Zealand River Story Award:
- Two teachers from Dunedin who have worked with Otago University scientists to develop rigorous water testing procedures for school students – this is a great example of developing young citizen scientists
- A community group in the upper Rangitata who have taken on pest plants that threaten their grand braided river. Through effective collaboration they have got on top of the broom and other exotic plants in the river valley.
- The Award winning story is about one man, Bill Kerrison, who has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years trapping and transferring eels and other native fish species past the dams on the Rangitaiki River in the Bay of Plenty.
For more details please contact either:
Andrew Gawith Susan Guthrie
027 4511 417 021 134 3825