River swimming in Northland: application of the River Values Assessment System (RiVAS and RiVAS+)
Booth Kay; Ballinger John; Glover Natalie; Greer Lynnell; Jones Darryl; Lewis George; Mussle Reiner; Paraone Tamati
The River Values Assessment System (RiVAS and RiVAS+) was applied by a River Expert Panel to eight resource and user attributes to assess 45 known river swimming locations in Northland. Few data were available, so the Expert Panel relied on their own assessments for most attributes. Revision was made to the algae attribute; with E. coli replacing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) as an indicator of public health as E. coli is the bacteria measured in the annual recreational bathing water quality programme. The method differentiated swimming sites of local significance (n=39) from those of regional significance (n=6): Waipoua River at the Forest Visitor Centre; Forest Pools on the Waipapa River; sites on the Waimamaku River along the Wekaweka Gorge Road; Taheke Falls on the Taheke River (Hokianga); Rainbow Falls on the Kerikeri River; and Raetea Camp Ground on the Victoria River. The RiVAS+ methodology was also applied to assess future potential value of two sites for swimming. This suggested that the swimming site above the Whangarei Falls on the Hatea River could be of regional swimming value (rather than local significance in its existing state) if identified management actions were taken to enhance the site for swimming. However, the swimming site at the Waipu River bridge (by the Waipu Boat and Fishing Club) is likely to remain of local significance for swimming.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordssites; assessment; management; Northland; River Values Assessment System (RiVAS); river values; swimming
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