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Thread: New Zealand's Mataura river - rafting proposal

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Default New Zealand's Mataura river - rafting proposal

    A proposal is on foot to start a rafting business on the Mataura river, one of New Zealand's best brown trout streams. The Mataura is not a white water river of the kind usually used for rafting.

    See the article by angler/author Dave Witherow in local media:

    Update 1 December 2019: The local council has now approved the rafting business's application. See

    It is probably best for visiting anglers to avoid the Mataura river altogether as rafting will put down brown trout for hours.

    The local fly fishing club noted the rafting proposal when it was first mooted. The newsletter can be viewed here:

    pdate 25 February 2020: legal action is being considered to have the rafting approval decision overturned in the courts. Refer to

    Update 4 January 2021: NZ Southern Rivers is a group formed to protect waterways. Legal counsel has been retained to contest the council decision approving the river rafting venture. See

    Update 5 January 2021: my earlier post was out of date. NZ Southern Rivers applied to the High Court in July 2020 to contest the rafting consent, but was unsuccessful. The judgment is a fine example of the flying pig school of jurisprudence ( rivers)

    It is particularly disturbing that the evidence relied on included witness statements that "“trout have been observed and continued feeding while the raft drifted past”; and "The rafts have a minimal effect on the fishing, with the fish looking quite relaxed in the water as we float over them from above”. These comments came from a rafter who operated on another, much larger river.

    But maybe there is no cause for concern? The judge referred to the rafter's Code of Conduct which includes a rule that:
    1. When passing fishermen we don’t allow our rafting clients to splash each other or jump out of the raft and swim - until we are well clear of the fisherman.
    Magnificent concession!
    Last edited by Flycasta; 01-04-2021 at 11:37 PM.

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