Clutha Guardians Incorporated



    It is considered by numerous individuals that there is an urgent need for comprehensive planning for a wide range of uses and developments on the Clutha River System.
    The following document is intended as a starting point for consideration, discussion, amendment, alteration, addition or rejection.
    It is also intended-and-hoped that the proposed forums will work towards the formation of a Draft Clutha River System Management Plan which accurately reflects the views and desires of a wide range of community groups.
    If such an intention can be achieved the Draft Clutha River System Management Plan will be presented to the Otago Regional Council with a request that it be completed and with community agreement be adopted.
    A management plan needs to incorporate the principles of conservation as well as consideration of equitable, beneficial, efficient uses of the resource.
    The objectives and policies outlined below because of the sheer size of New Zealand's largest river needs to initially concentrate primarily (but not exclusively) on the main stem of the river. Successive management plans will need to address individual catchments but the principles and policies will remain the same.
    The end result will lead to a composite plan for the whole Clutha River System.


    Preserving the natural characteristics of the river the streams and the catchment lakes.
    Promoting improvements of the existing water quality when environmentaly necessary. Opposing further hydro-electric power development on the Clutha Catchment.
    Providing full opportunity for full public participation in the preparation of a developing Clutha River Management Plan. Requiring hydro electric power consent holders to operate existing power stations and dams in a manner which minimises adverse effects.
    Promoting flood control and bank and shore erosion prevention measures.
    Providing for and protecting water quality standards to meet community needs.
    Safeguarding the needs of fisheries and water based wild life habitats.
    Providing for the sustainable and equitable needs of irritation and industry.
    Developing maintenance programs to enhance the environment.
    Establishing appropriate monitoring and review systems.


    To work towards the improvement of the water quality by employing the requirements of the resource Management Act and the Otago Regional Council Water Plan.
    To avoid discharge of contaminants arising from human activities.


    To encourage land use practices which minimise contamination of the river water from contributing sources.
    To establish acceptable limits on the nutrient discharges which have effects on the aquatic ecosystems.
    To maintain regular compliance checks on the consent conditions to maintain water quality from existing point discharges so that the river and lake water is suitable for existing and potential uses. To take appropriate measures to mitigate the effects of the accidental or unauthorised spillages or discharges.


    To require hydro electric power consent holders to operate existing power stations and dams in a manner which minimises adverse effects on the river environment.
    To encourage multipurpose development on and from H.E.P dams. To oppose further H.E.P. development on the Clutha River.


    To require the operation of the existing H.E.P. stations and dams so as to minimise adverse effects caused by dam and lake level fluctuations and variations in the downstream flows. To support provision for irrigation water takes as an integral part of the existing H.E.P. operations on the Clutha River Systems.
    To rectify the unnecessary inundation of the productive land. To advocate that an adequate percentage of H.E.P. generation revenue be directed into the mitigation of adverse effects caused by H.E.P. generation. To adequately monitor compliance with the terms and conditions placed on H.E.P. consent holders.


    To maintain and where necessary enhance the health of the aquatic ecosystems and fisheries.
    To maintain adequate habitat for a wide range of water based bird species.


    To maintain a quality of water necessary for a healthy fish environment.
    To minimise disturbance to the river banks and beds by establishing appropriate residual flow regimes.
    To recognise the value of riparian vegetation for water based wild life.
    To protect significant existing wildlife and wetland habitats along the Clutha River System.
    To make provision for the unimpeded movement of fish along the river .


    To promote the maintenance and development of irrigation water takes from the Clutha River System as an integral part of a sustainable multi-purpose use giving full regard to water availability and principals of equity and beneficial uses.


    To encourage the use of sustainable efficient water distribution, application and drainage methods in all existing and future irrigation schemes.
    To encourage the implementation of appropriate sustainable irrigation development in conjunction with existing hydro electric power dams. To provide for natural river channel flows in the tributaries of the Clutha effected by the existing and future irrigation schemes to meet the needs of fisheries, wildlife habitats and community recreation values.


    To protect the present recreational values of the Clutha River System.
    To ensure that opportunities for a wide range of water based recreation activities are available for present and future generations.
    To promote and employ appropriate management strategies for the equitable use of water resource in a wide range of recreation activities.
    To promote and employ appropriate management strategies for the equitable use of the water resource in a wide range of recreation activities.

    To advocate that income based grants from major river consent holders are used in the provision and maintenance of water based recreation facilities.

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