Please help us preserve this beautiful river.


The Department of Conservation has approved in principle a hydro scheme on the West Coast's iconic Waitaha river.

They are now seeking submissions from the public. You can submit in just a few minutes using our online form.


What's happening?


Westpower will spend upwards of $100 million building this hydro plant and tunnels.

It will change the place forever and dry up the river.

The concession is for 50 years.

We want the Minister for Conservation to reconsider this flawed decision.

watch the interview with energy expert tony Baldwin below to find out more



Here are the Key Issues

We Don't need the Power

Electricity industry experts and MBIE say there is no need for this scheme –we simply don’t need any more power generation in New Zealand. The outlook for the future is that power use will decline as efficiency increases.

There are other options

If local generation was required on the West Coast there are a number of other hydro projects that are already fully consented and waiting to be built (e.g., Arnold River, Stockton). These don't require sucking the water out of our wild rivers. They haven't been built as it has been hard to show that they would generate a solid financial return...and the same economic fallibility applies to Westpower's proposed scheme on the Waitaha.

Its a really special place

The Upper Waitaha and Morgan Gorge in particular are regarded as the most challenging whitewater kayaking trip in NZ - the Aoraki/Mt Cook of rivers. Only 12 people in the world have managed to kayak through this gorge; as such it serves as an inspiration and high water mark for aspiring athletes and adventurers.

Its totally Unique

Less than 1% of the worlds rivers are in their natural state and this number is declining every year. It's time we stop and look to the future and value this rare commodity - a truly wild natural river.

There are two ways that you can help preserve this amazing place


Sign the Petition...

We are gathering signatures on a petition to send to Maggie Barry MP Minister for Conservation asking her to reconsider her decision to grant consent to the hydro power scheme on the Waitaha River.


Make a Submission

Read up on all the reports at the DOC page (here) and then write a submission.

Alternatively you can use our form below to make a submission directly.

Forest & Bird also have an online submission form you can use here.