Natural character of braided rivers
With historical use and development, the ecological and biodiversity values of Canterbury’s braided rivers have deteriorated over time. Their ecosystems and habitats are threatened by weeds and predators, land use change, river control works, low flows due to water takes, and damage through recreational activities.
Under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), goals were set to help make a difference to our environment and how natural resources are managed. Environment Canterbury reports on progress on behalf of CWMS partners.
Here's how things are progressing against 2020 goals. View information on:
- Braided river character
- Ecosystems, habitats and species in braided river environments and associated riparian wetlands, springs and lagoons
Environment Canterbury has developed guidelines for assessing the natural character of braided rivers (PDF file, 1.27MB), which make the process of applying for, and assessing resource consents around braided rivers simpler, more consistent and more efficient.
The Braided Rivers Action Group (BRAG) is a multi-agency group with representation from central and local government, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Federated Farmers, Forest & Bird, and Fish & Game. The Group is working collaboratively to align public land management processes and agree and implement best practice land management of publicly administered land in, and adjacent to the lower reaches of braided rivers.
- CWMS partners will continue investing in projects that focus on protection and restoration of braided rivers ecosystems and habitat.
- Environment Canterbury is in the process of implementing new national policy – the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater – which relates to braided river environments.
Ecosystems, habitats and species in braided river environments and associated riparian wetlands, springs and lagoons
Environment Canterbury’s biodiversity snapshot (2019/2020) provides details of completed and ongoing projects.
Project River Recovery is a DOC-led restoration programme making contributions to braided river ecosystem protection in the Upper Waitaki Basin. Projects underway include landscape-scale weed and predator control, research into new predator control methods, invertebrate fauna surveys, long-term bird population monitoring and education raising programmes.
- CWMS partners will continue to work with agencies and organisations on large-scale projects to protect braided river ecosystems and bird breeding habitats.
- Hurunui District Council will continue to be active in braided rivers partnership projects to protect habitat for black-billed gulls and black-fronted terns.