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Fishers’ right-of-way to open beside Riuwaka River
People will have better access to the south branch of the Riuwaka River thanks to a joint initiative by Tasman District Council, Fish and Game and the New Zealand Walking Access Commission.
The deal sees a public right-of-way opened along nearly a kilometre of riverbank off Riuwaka Valley Left Branch Road to where the river leaves Kahurangi National Park.
When a subdivision was proposed on the south branch of the Riuwaka in the Tasman district, Fish & Game Nelson-Marlborough Regional manager Rhys Barrier saw the opportunity to legalise access to a highly valued brown trout fishing river. He approached the NZ Walking Access Commission which agreed to support long-term access.
“The present landowner is very good about letting anglers onto the riverbank to fish,” says Mr Barrier. “But we were worried this could easily change. Unfortunately, there is a stretch of the Riuwaka River where a landholder has claimed exclusive rights where there are gaps in legal access. “
Walking Access Commission regional field advisor, Penny Wardle, said it was satisfying that people would no longer require landowner permission to walk along or fish in this stretch of the Riuwaka south branch. The co-operative approach set a great example.
“Access to their outdoors is a major concern for New Zealanders and it is great to see the Tasman District Council recognising this and being proactive in ensuring the public’s rights are not only recognised but enhanced.”
The south branch of the Riuwaka flows off the Arthur Range in Kahurangi National Park then across bush-lined banks and open farmland to the sea near Motueka. Te Puna o Riuwaka where the north branch emerges from a limestone cave beneath Takaka Hill is a wahi tapu (sacred place) for Te Atiawa and Ngāti Rarua iwi.
Photo: Tasman Community Board member Brent Maru, New Zealand Walking Access Commission regional field advisor Penny Wardle and Jacob Lucas of Fish & Game check out the Riuwaka River where public access has been secured.