Last week Gareth and I went rafting down a rapid past local rangatahi swimming in this pristine fresh water of the upper Tarawera River.
We were on our first visit to the Oparara Basin, on the Karamea side of Kahurangi National park, famous for its large natural rock arches.
The Ruamahānga is a beautiful river, much loved by those who live near it. But it faces many pressures. South of Masterton, the river is affected by sewage issues and land use intensification that have reduced water clarity and made the river unsafe for swimming, particularly at The Cliffs, a scenic spot near a vineyard straight out of a tourist brochure. Unfortunately, the water has a D rating. You risk getting a nasty bug if you put your head under.
One in three New Zealanders (Auckland, Hamilton et al) have a very direct interest in the quality of the water coming down the Waikato River because their drinking water is extracted from that catchment. The more polluted that water is, the more expensive and difficult it is to treat it. So how bad is the water at the end of the Waikato river?
As Jeanette previewed yesterday, the Greens’ Good Farm Stories website has been launched today. You can find it here: www.goodfarmstories.org.nz. There’s a wealth of material, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy!