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  • BRaid Newsletter #13 : 7 December 2015

    Posted on December 6, 2015 by in Newsletters

    Hello everyone,

    Firstly, thanks for your feedback. It’s a very busy time of year for everyone, so I appreciate your ongoing contributions. This newsletter is complied from items on our Latest News page. Time-critical news is not included in this newsletter, so if you would like to stay abreast of what’s happening, subscribe to our Twitter (@braidedriveaid) and Facebook pages.

    I’ll be updating our Calendar of Events today, primarily with the scheduled Zone Committee meeting for 2016. I can’t impress upon everyone how important it is to attend Zone Committee meetings, ask questions, and where possible present to them (if you are unsure how you can present, contact

    Decisions are being made through the Zone Committees that will affect how water is managed in Canterbury for the foreseeable future. Under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), the environment is one of the first-order priorities. One of the targets is to implement actions to correct the decline in usable braided river bird habitat. Yet this priority chronically suffers from death by a thousand cuts from vocal and well-funded interests (see Friday’s report on Stuff: ‘Government’s wimpish river regulations watered down‘ and also Land use changes on braided river margins, below). It is crucial to repeatedly remind everyone attending Zone Committee meetings that reducing the decline of braided river bird habitats is not a pesky impediment to economic development but a priority goal of the CWMS.

    The good new is that submissions to resource consent hearings can result in a good outcome (see A big win for a small river below), so the message is getting through. Let’s keep up the momentum.


    Sonny Whitelaw, BRaid Manager (

    A big win for a small river the application to dam Kakapo Brook for irrigation and hydro-electricity has been declined.

    New project for the Lower Waitaki – Ann-Kathrin Schlesselmann reports on collaboration with DOC, ECan, Otago University, the New Zealand Jetboating Association and the Lower Waitaki River Management Society

    Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group (ARRG) November update see Nick Ledgard’s report following the annual river bird survey. ARRG, one of the most successful rivercare groups, uses a range of management strategies and robust reporting to quantify the results of their work.

    ARRG trapping update – from Geoff Swailes; while they are doing amazing work, they could do with more trappers

    Lupins: a looming disaster the photos tell the story.

    NIWA soil moisture map  – so what does this mean for braided rivers? With the current El Nino, freshes are likely to be few and far between this season in Canterbury’s foothill-fed braided rivers.

    Land use changes on braided rivers – the ECan report reveals that between 1990-2012 nearly 11,630 ha of formerly forested or undeveloped berm land has been converted to intensive agricultural use.

    Ashburton River bird survey unconfirmed results include the black billed gull colony beside SH1 bridge has dropped in numbers to about 750.

    Waimakariri River birds photos and report from Steve Attwood

    Update on Waimakariri River Birds (inc. video)from From Courtney Thompson, Regional Park Ranger, ECan + video of black-backed gulls harassing nesting black-billed gulls (by Steve Attwood)

    Rangitata River mouth Edith Smith’s great photos of a colony of black-billed gulls

    Latest report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment – which perversely, explicitly excludes impacts on the environment…

    Invitation: World Fish Migration Day May 21, 2016 – celebrations and events will start in New Zealand, and follow the sun around the planet until it sets on Hawaii.

    Latest track update from DOC – from Sarah Ensor, DOC Partnerships Ranger, with updates from Arthur’s Pass, North Canterbury, and Banks Peninsular.


    BRaid’s next meeting: Friday 19 February 1.00pm at Ngai Mahi Road

    Braided River Conference : Tuesday 31 May 2015


    A few people are overdue. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. Membership is a modest $20/annum.

    Bits from Elsewhere

    Smithsonian Institute: Seabirds Are Dumping Pollution-Laden Poop Back on LandChemicals we’ve poured into the ocean are coming back to sting us thanks to seabirds defecating in their onshore colonies

    NASA animation: the yearly biosphere cycle – Animation showing the 12-month cycle of all plant life on Earth –  land and ocean.

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