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e-newsletter : Feb 2004
project news > Feb 2004

Progress Report

This is the fifth update. It is intended to keep all interested parties informed of news and initiatives associated with the Clutha River Parkway project, working to establish NZ's largest river park along the entire Clutha River corridor from Wanaka to the sea.

Inaugural Meeting:
The inaugural meeting of the Clutha River Parkway Steering Group was held on Tuesday, February 17th. Business included the election of the Group's Executive, with Lewis Verduyn (President), Anne Steven (Secretary), Julian Haworth (Treasurer), Ian Horrax, Dr. Barrie Wills, and John Barlow.

The Steering Group has been granted $100,000 by the Central Lakes Trust toward the establishment of New Zealand's largest river park - the Clutha River Parkway, along the entire Clutha River scenic corridor from Wanaka to the sea. A further $50,000 is required before the first phase of the Group's three-year programme can commence.

Consultation A High Priority:
The Steering Group is committed to including the Otago community in the Clutha River Parkway project. We believe that the people who live along the river, in the towns and on the land, are especially important, and we would like everyone to be well informed and able to contribute. For this reason we envisage a series of public consultation meetings being held along the river from Wanaka to Balclutha. These meetings will be part of a river corridor landscape study, and the dates will not be set until the Project Manager's position is filled. This public consultation will be one of the Project Manager's first tasks.

Ultimately, we see the Clutha River Parkway becoming a major asset, and we would like everyone who uses it, enjoys it and benefits from it to be included in some way, whether they are fishermen, school children partaking in outdoor education, tourist operators, or landowners fortunate enough to have land bordering the river corridor.

The benefits of having NZ's largest regional river park traversing Otago will be obvious to most people, and we feel sure that the enthusiasm we have encountered so far will be ongoing, although we admit that it is a challenging and extraordinary project. The positive spin-offs, especially for recreation and tourism, will be wonderful for the river towns. The Clutha waterway has many qualities, physical and historical, that are unparalleled globally. It's fitting that the people of Otago should enjoy these, share them and be proud of them. This national treasure is ours, and we are its guardians. We should remember that the health and wellbeing of this iconic river environment is ultimately entwined with our own.

Mayor Rafts Upper Clutha:
QLDC Mayor Clive Geddess, together with QLDC CEO Duncan Field, Wanaka Ward Operations Manager Chris Hawker, and Community Board member Graeme Dickson, recently rafted the Upper Clutha from Alberttown to the Devil's Nook near Luggate on a familiarisation trip. The Upper Clutha, with its dramatic glacial terraces, will hopefully become one of the jewels in the Clutha River Parkway. Easy access from Alberttown and outstanding landscape values provide a particularly valuable river corridor that is experiencing ever-increasing recreational use. In global terms, the Upper Clutha is an unsurpassed rarity, given its high volume of unusually clear turquoise-tinted water, unique landscape, and excellent passive recreation values. 

Newspapers have permission to quote any or all of the above paragraphs, as written, in news items on the Clutha River Parkway. Reporters may also contact the undersigned, any morning between 9am-12 noon, for additional information. 

Steering Group Membership:
The Clutha River Parkway Steering Group already has a particularly experienced and skilled membership. Many members have a strong background in conservation work, and a number of key stakeholders are also represented, including the QLDC, the Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird and others. 

All stakeholders and interested parties receiving this update, who are not already members of the Steering Group, are invited to join by contacting the undersigned. The Membership Form and further information can be supplied promptly via email. There is no membership fee at present.

We welcome your participation in this nationally important project.

Please direct any comments, enquiries to:
Lewis Verduyn
Clutha River Parkway Steering Group
P.O. Box 124, Wanaka



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