[12 March] Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs has announced that a Water Conservation Order will be issued for the Mohaka River. The order will protect the outstanding characteristics and features of the upper part of the river above the State Highway 5 bridge as well as the Mokonui Gorge and tributaries of the Mohaka River. These include the outstanding trout fishery, and white water canoeing and rafting opportunities, said Hobbs. The WCO was originally applied for in 1987, and endorsed by the Planning Tribunal in 1992. The WCO will afford the Mohaka the same protection as that already granted to other iconic New Zealand rivers such as the Motu, Kawarau, Buller, Rangitikei, Rakaia and Grey. Unfortunately, this WCO only protects the scenic upper run and not the popular section from Te Hoe to Willow Flat. Update: 15 March, to clarify, the main stem through Mokonui Gorge is protected, but the section between SH5 and the Mokonui Gorge is not included in the order.