Wild river (defn): a remote and freeflowing river surrounded by indigenous forests, shrub or tussock lands
If you think hydro development is OK because it’s not taking place on your favourite river, think again.
A report prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development identifies 65 hydro development “opportunities” around New Zealand that are likely to proceed in the next 20 years – chances are there's a threatened river near you.
We believe these rivers need to stay wild – raging in flood and murmuring in summer. Their pure waters sustain the rare native blue ducks, wrybills, eels and freshwater fish that live in them.
The banks of wild rivers are home to other wonderful creatures – native bats, weka, kereru, kiwi and powelliphanta snails.
Wild rivers are magnets for people, too – we love kayaking, rafting, fishing and swimming in them and walking alongside them. Overseas tourists spend millions of dollars every year to experience adventure activities on wild rivers.
Most New Zealand rivers have been dramatically altered for irrigation and hydro-electric power. Our remaining wild rivers need urgent protection from destruction by hydro-electric dams and farm irrigation. Even those on public conservation land are under threat. Below are some of the rivers that we are fighting to protect - help us in our fight.
Forest & Bird has just successfully saved the Mokihinui river from a 85 metre dam. More
The Hurunui River
Canterbury's Hurunui river is home to endangered kiwi, black fronted tern & banded dotterel. It faces both hydro and irrigation threats. More
The Clarence river holds a botanical bounty on its riverbanks, and carries a range of threatened species on its waters - as well as the odd rafter!. It is under threat from a range of irrigation and hydro-electric schemes. More
Home to white-water kayakers, recreational fishers,threatened long-tailed bats & black fronted tern, this stunning West coast river is under threat from a proposal to build a series of up to three dams for hydro-generation. More
This raging West coast river flows from the ice-covered Southern Alps, and plunges out to the Tasman sea. It is home to our endangered freshwater duck. More
Famed for its white-water and its trout, the Kaituna river has already headed off a wastewater threat. Now it's being eyed up as a source for hydro-electricity. More