Author Archive

Awa Aroha Fund

Friday, November 10th, 2023

Whitewater NZ is so proud to be announcing our new Awa Aroha fund.

This fund will be used to support paddlers across Aotearoa who are involved in serious whitewater incidents.

The fund’s purpose is to support river crew after a serious river incident by bridging the gap between victim support services and the individuals accessing government funded mental health services. There’s often at least a 6 month wait (it varies by DHB) to access public support if someone is struggling, and we want to support people during the in between, and provide access to group debriefing sessions with vetted professionals. We don’t think a six month wait time is good enough, so we want to bridge this gap.

Eligibility is direct involvement in a fatal or near fatal incident, in a river environment, in NZ, while participating in whitewater paddle craft activities in a recreational capacity.

People will not have to be a member of Whitewater NZ to receive this support. You can read the full policy here.

To fundraise for this new support, Whitewater NZ is hosting a series of fundraising film nights, and appealing for donations.

Now we’re not a big organisation with bottomless pits of money, this support won’t be a long term solution, but something to bridge the gap between accessing publicly funded support services available in NZ.

We would really appreciate the clubs support in promoting this event to your community, and helping us to provide services to paddlers who need it. You can book tickets here.

Whitewater NZ Photo Competition 2023

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Submissions for our annual photo competition are now open!

How to Enter:

Capture the Thrill and submit your entry via Google form by 15 November 2023. Include your name, the paddler(s) name, a brief description of the photo, and where it was taken.


  • First Place: $150
  • Second Place: $100
  • Third Place: $50

Competition Rules:

  • You must be an individual member of WWNZ OR a member of an affiliated club to enter. If you are not a member of WWNZ and wish to enter, feel free to join here – membership is only $10.
  • Each member can submit up to 10 of their best photos.
  • Submissions must be original, high-resolution images, up to 10MB per photo.
  • By entering, you grant Whitewater NZ the right to use your photo, with proper credit given to the photographer.
  • Deadline for submissions is 15 November 2023.
  • Winners will be contacted via the email address used to submit the photo, and announced on our website and social accounts.
  • The winners from the competition will be submitted to the FMC 2024 photo competition as WWNZ entries. More details:

Judging Criteria:

The WWNZ Board will vote for the top 10, with the top 3 chosen by popular vote of the members on our social media channels.

If you have any questions, reach out to us at [email protected].

Paddler of the Year 2023

Monday, October 9th, 2023

Nominations for the Whitewater NZ Paddler of the Year 2023 are open!

If you know someone who deserves to be recognised for their dedication, skill and contributions to our rivers and sport, email your nomination(s) along with a short blurb (max 200 words) outlining why they deserve to win to [email protected].

Nominations are due by 15 November 2023. The WWNZ Board will then curate all nominations and the winner will be chosen by popular vote of the members on our social media channels.

Happy Paddling!

Freshwater gold clam (Corbicula fluminea)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

MPI has classified Freshwater Gold Clam as an invasive species in NZ Waterways.

This freshwater mollusc (also known as Asian gold clam) was discovered along a stretch of the Waikato River in May 2023. Biosecurity New Zealand is working with iwi and other partners to prevent the spread of the clam.

Remember to CHECK, CLEAN, DRY between waterways.

Risk to NZ from the freshwater gold clam

The freshwater gold clam is native to eastern Asia and is widely established in North and South America and Europe.

These clams reproduce rapidly and form large populations that can clog water-based infrastructure such as electricity generation plants, irrigation systems, and water treatment plants. They are filter feeders that can potentially compete with native species for food. We do not yet know how this species will respond in New Zealand conditions.

Overseas, this clam has proved difficult to control and eradication has never been achieved.


  • Take a photo and note the location.
  • Report it – freephone 0800 80 99 66 or use the online form at 
  • Don’t move it – leave it where you found it.

Source and more information available here: MPI