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Kahutara River

The Kahutara River is in the Kairoura zone. It flows south-east from the Seaward Kaikoura Range, reaching the Pacific Ocean at the tiny settlement of Peketa, 7 km south-west of Kaikoura. The river catchment has a mild maritime climate and high sunshine hours with average annual rainfall ranging from 1,750 mm in the headwaters to 844 mm by the coast. The upper catchment is mostly alpine rock and gravel with a mixture of native and exotic scrubland. The lowland catchment is under some land-use pressures with a mixture of low and high producing grassland.

 The river has one site, representing a lowland hill-fed river, included in the Environment Canterbury’s state of the environment monitoring (SoE) programme. Increasing pressure is being placed on the Kahutara by intensifying land-use activities, particularly in the lowland areas, by growing demand for water supplies for uses like irrigation and urbanisation. The best water quality is in the upper reaches of the river where there has been less change in the catchment and less human activity. The poorest water quality is typically found closer to the coast, most likely a result of intensive agricultural pressures.

Sites 3

Monitored sites in the Kahutara River catchment

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