Community given limited access to Shotover River
"Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is pleased to announce that a blanket permit is now in effect for parts of the Shotover River, namely the Shotover Concession Area, allowing non-motorised access for members of the community.
This comes on the back of work undertaken by QLDC, Shotover Jet and the Arthurs Point Community Association to improve community access to the river between Oxenbridge Tunnel and Tuckers Beach.
Through the review of the Shotover River Bylaw 2021 earlier this year, the hearing panel expressed a desire for improved access for recreational users and the ability to issue recurring and blanket permits for non-motorised users, such as kayakers and paddleboarders.
This has led to a blanket permit for non-motorised river users which runs from 5.30pm through to 9.00pm on Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Councillor Quentin Smith (who sat on the hearing panel) was thrilled with the blanket permit and thanked Shotover Jet and the community in working to achieve the feat, adding that having regular scheduled days for community access to the Shotover River was amazing.
“Significant progress has been made towards public recreational access in this decision, and for the first time in a generation our community will have the chance to enjoy an iconic part of New Zealand and the Queenstown Lakes District on a regular basis,” said Mr Smith.
For those looking to access Shotover River outside the blanket permit times, a permit is still required. Users must contact Shotover Jet to arrange for this permit, following which all current permits will be displayed on QLDC's website.
Initially, the blanket permit on Wednesday and Friday evenings will be run as a trial for 12 weeks, up until Friday 17 December.
Those interested in enjoying the Shotover River during the permit period are asked to research conditions, and to be conscious of their skill level before heading out on the water.
If members of the community have any doubt about being allowed on the river on a certain day or during a certain time, please contact QLDC on 03 441 0499, or email [email protected]