Roding and Maitai Rivers User Survey
Council has recently completed a survey of Roding and Maitai River users and residents to better understand how people use and value these rivers, and the priorities for future river management.
Recreational users and residents living beside the Maitai and Roding Rivers were surveyed between 1 January and 1 March 2015, with 822 recreational user questionnaires and 129 residents questionnaires completed.
Key results from the survey show:
- Algae and toxic algae were key concerns, although there appears to be some confusion about what algae is.
- Water quality was also a strong area of interest, but what constitutes poor water quality was poorly described, with it including water clarity, algae and ‘pollution’.
- Flow levels in the rivers were of less interest to respondents than algae and water quality.
- Flood protection was a lower priority on the Maitai River than most other management issues.
- Residents were more likely to consider the rivers to have changed for the worse in comparison with other river users, but river users were more likely to consider the rivers to be better or the same as when they first visited, rather than worse.
- Overall, the rivers were highly valued for recreation and natural and scenic values, and respondents were able to name many more positive aspects than negative ones.
The information will be used as part of the council’s application to renew its water take consents for the city’s water supply, and to help guide the freshwater management provisions in the Nelson Plan, the city’s resource management plan, which is currently under review.