Wild Rivers

Wild river (defn): a remote and freeflowing river surrounded by indigenous forests, shrub or tussock lands  

Irrigation dams and hydro-development are a great threat to these wild rivers.

These flood flows are essential dynamic processes that replenish our coasts, cleanse our rivers of weeds and provide fresh habitats for river birds and fish

 We believe these rivers need to stay wild – raging in flood and murmuring in summer. Their pure waters sustain the rare native blue ducks, wrybills, eels and freshwater fish that live in them.

The banks of wild rivers are home to other wonderful creatures – native bats, weka, kereru, kiwi and powelliphanta snails.

Wild rivers are magnets for people, too – we love kayaking, rafting, fishing and swimming in them and walking alongside them. Overseas tourists spend millions of dollars every year to experience adventure activities on wild rivers.

Most major New Zealand rivers have been dramatically altered for irrigation and/or hydro-electric power.

Our remaining wild rivers need urgent protection from destruction by hydro-electric dams and farm irrigation. Even those on public conservation land are under threat. Below are some of the rivers that we are fighting to protect - help us in our fight.

Mokihinui River

Forest & Bird has just successfully saved the Mokihinui river from a 85 metre dam. More

The Hurunui River

Canterbury's Hurunui river is home to endangered kiwi, black fronted tern & banded dotterel. It faces both hydro and irrigation threats. More

Clarence River 

The Clarence river holds a botanical bounty on its riverbanks, and carries a range of threatened species on its waters - as well as the odd rafter!. It is under threat from a range of irrigation and hydro-electric schemes. More

Matakitaki River

Home to white-water kayakers, recreational fishers,threatened long-tailed bats & black fronted tern, this stunning West coast river is under threat from a proposal to build a series of up to three dams for hydro-generation. More

Waitaha River

This raging West coast river flows from the ice-covered Southern Alps, and plunges out to the Tasman sea.  It is home to our  endangered freshwater duck. More

Kaituna River

Famed for its white-water and its trout, the Kaituna river has already headed off a wastewater threat. Now it's being eyed up as a source for hydro-electricity. More