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Council concerned at kayaker’s actions

Published: 31 March 2017
Hunua Falls in full flood during the major storm in early March. Photo / Auckland Council

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Council concerned at kayaker’s actions

Video circulating on social media and news sites of a kayaker going over the Hunua Falls has disappointed Auckland Council.

The video shows an experienced kayaker filming himself taking a daredevil ride down the rain-swollen Wairoa River and over the fast-moving falls.

General Manager Parks, Sports and Recreation Mace Ward is concerned at the message this sends to others.

“The Hunua Falls is a popular and picturesque place visited by more than 120,000 people each year. Unfortunately, some visitors insist on doing some very stupid things and this is one of them.

“We would like to categorically remind people that kayaking or jumping off the Hunua Falls is not permitted and is an extremely risky thing to do.

“This kayaker was an experienced sportsman who was both armed with the skills to manage the dangerous river and was very, very lucky.

“Too many people have drowned at Hunua Falls, both swimming in the pool at the bottom and from daredevil stunts. Each time this happens families, council staff, mana whenua, emergency services and our local community get hit hard – I urge people to think very carefully before they put themselves in danger at this beautiful spot,” he says.

Hunua Falls and the dangers of freshwater

  • The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is up to 19 metres deep in some places. Its edges are slippery and there are sudden drops in depth.
  • The extreme cold of the water can cause a shock that may affect the ability to breathe.
  • The 30m freshwater fall creates strong currents and aerates the water, which has less buoyancy than salt water.
  • Swimming at Hunua Falls is not advised.

Warning and advisory signs are on site, along with angel rings for emergencies only. Park rangers patrol the site daily.