Most Canterbury Plains rivers sit on a large bed of leaky gravel. These rivers, when flowing, naturally recharge connected aquifers. NRR enhances this natural process by recharging clean water via leaky basins (constructed in the river’s flood plain) when the river flows are low. It is important to make sure the NRR water doesn’t mix at surface with river water on its way to the aquifer, as this could change river water properties (e.g., nutrient concentrations, sediment load and temperature) in a negative way.

Our NRR sites are beside the Hekeao/Hinds River, with the uppermost site inland from Mayfield and the lowest site inland from Hinds. Results to date show increased flows, flowing reach, and fish populations. Additional biodiversity gains from NRR sites include native tree plantings, protected lizard habitat, enhanced habitat for the endangered Kōwaro / Canterbury mudfish, and increased native bird variety. Further information is available in our Supporting Documents.


Tour of south branch Hekeao Hinds River NRR site


Winslow Road NRR site