River Care

Do you part. Conserve our unique awa, as well as the flora and fauna that were here long before us.

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The Kahurangi national park is magnificent and we are so lucky to call it home. Stepping into this valley feels like stepping into ancient and wild lands, In fact the oldest rocks in Aotearoa are found upstream in the Cobb Valley catchment! We are surrounded by vast mountains, clear blue lakes, and plenty of lush waterways like the Tākaka river which flows through our festival site. This beautiful awa provides for us and asks for nothing in return. It's up to each and every one of us to take responsibility to respect and preserve it.

It's a fantastic location for hanging out, swimming, and staying cool on hot days. However, it's crucial to be mindful of how our actions may affect the river and how the river, in turn, could impact us.

Always keep safety in mind when enjoying a swim or a meander on the waterside, Like all rivers it can be powerful and sometimes unpredictable. Even though the part of the river that runs through the site is calm, you should always take care. Watch out for your mates and others around you!

DO NOT swim at night under any circumstances.

Alongside your own safety, we must consider Takaroa, in Māori mythology Takaroa is the great atua (god) of the sea, lakes, rivers, and the creatures that live within them. We are blessed to have this river available for our bathing antics, but if we don’t all do our bit to protect it, we could lose the privilege of swimmable water. Don’t bring in any nasties! Sun screen, insect repellents and soaps pollute the waterways and bring in unwanted toxins that may disrupt the native wildlife. Wash em off with a wet face cloth before you jump in. Do not use soap or shampoo under any circumstances, not even natural/biodegradable products. Rivers are a delicate ecosystem and it is up to us to ensure we are doing everything in our power not to disrupt the balance.

It is important for people bathing in the river and living on the land to be mindful of any products they may be using and to not introduce any potentially toxic materials. Aotearoa waterways are home to precious endangered species that are already facing the perils of the agricultural/farming industry and introduced plants and algae’s. Please take care not to expose the river to any swimming gear or other items that have been exposed to other bodies of fresh water without being properly washed offsite beforehand.

We have Dr Aisling Rayne joining Twisted this year for a discussion on the native kreshwater kōura (also commonly known as kēkēwai, freshwater crayfish or crawlies). These are a widely treasured mahinga kai species with a long history in Aotearoa. Today, many populations are at risk of disappearing from local waterways due to land use change, introduced predators, and climate change. In this workshop, we’ll talk about kōura and the environment they live in, as well some of the ongoing work to protect them. Check out the workshop lineup at the Dojo to learn about this fascinating creature.

Do you part. Conserve our unique awa, as well as the flora and fauna that were here long before us.

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