Media Release - July 25, 2005
Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Project Update
There are many issues facing the Clutha River corridor from Lake Wanaka to the Pacific, including extreme development pressure and loss of recreational access. At present consistent management of the entire river corridor is not possible because there is no mechanism in place for integrated management of the river corridor. A River Parkway has been proposed for this reason.
The concept of a Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway has gained the support of many key stakeholders, including landowners, government departments, District Councils, environmental and heritage groups, river users and developers.
The Project Management team has recently completed the first round of community consultation meetings in Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra, Roxburgh, Beaumont and Balclutha. The proposed Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway was discussed, as were opportunities for landowners and other interested parties to become involved in this exciting project.
Over 100 people attended the meetings that were held in late June and early July. An overwhelming 86% of respondents reported that they were in support of the project for reasons such as the potential benefits the Parkway would bring to their communities through eco-tourism, improved management of recreational access for fishing and boating, and as a mechanism to protect the Riverís significant natural, historical and cultural values.
The remaining 14% of public meeting attendees were either neutral (7%) or opposed (7%) to the project. Concerns were raised regarding the potential impact of public access on existing farming practices.
The next stage of the project involves the completion of foundation studies for the establishment of the Parkway, including landscape, heritage and recreation studies. Extensive consultation will take place to ensure that the Parkway Management Plan accurately reflects the values and issues, and gains the full support, of all stakeholders.