Respect the river – know the risks
There are more drownings in rivers than any other environment in New Zealand.
Rivers change. The bank, riverbed and water flow might be different from how you remember, or change quickly.
Rivers are powerful. The water near our dams has strong currents and suction effects. Water levels and flows can change quickly and massive flows may be released at any time. Stay out of the 200m exclusion zone between the buoys and the dam – it’s the law.
Rivers can be unexpected. There could be hidden dangers such as submerged objects. If you’re wading, a wading staff will give extra support and you can feel ahead for obstructions or changes in flow. Have someone with you for extra support and safety. Check weather forecasts including rainfall in the hills above that could fill the streams and rivers where you are. Watch out for signage and do what it tells you to do.
We have big beautiful rivers and lakes. Stay away from dams and other hazards.