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Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Power Scheme

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  • Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Power Scheme
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  • Esk Power Scheme
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  • Hume Power Station
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  • Matahina Power Scheme
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  • Motukawa Power Scheme
  • Paerau/Patearoa Power Stations
  • Patea Power Scheme
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  • Waipori Power Scheme
  • Wheao and Flaxy Power Scheme
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Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Hydroelectric Power Scheme draws from the Kaniere River catchment, in the lower South Island of New Zealand. There are two Power Stations, Kaniere Forks and McKays Creek, first commissioned in 1911 and 1931. The Scheme’s combined average annual output is 11 GWh. A key feature of the location is the historic Kaniere Water Race Walkway, shared with the public and the Department of Conservation (DOC).

At a Glance

LOCATION: Kaniere Reservoir/River

Commissioned 1911

Max Capacity 1.2 MW

Annual output 8 GWh

Kaniere Forks Power Station was commissioned in 1911: making it one of the country’s originals. The station is fed by Kaniere Reservoir and discharges into the Kaniere River, which then feeds McKays Creek Station through a weir and race system. The original output of Kaniere Forks was 60Hz but in 1931 this was converted to 50Hz to match McKays Creek Station, which was commissioned in that same year. McKays Creek Station was built to supply local gold mining operations. 

Today, Kaniere Forks produces an average annual output of 3.75 GWh, while McKays Creek produces 8 GWh. 

Environment and recreation

The scheme provides an historic walkway, which is shared with the public and DOC. Lake Kaniere is popular for boating, fishing and swimming. 

Existing Resource Consents expired in 2011. The new consents, granted in June 2012 by West Coast Regional Council and Westland District Council, authorised conditions to enable the scheme to produce an additional 8.25 GWh each year. New conditions included increasing the allowable water take from Lake Kaniere and Kaniere River; and increasing the allowed discharge of water from McKays Power Station. The decision was appealed in the Environment Court and was mediated without the need for a hearing. 

The new consents also included Trustpower enhancing native fish passage through the Kaniere River and upgrading Lake Kaniere boat ramps for the benefit of recreational boaters. The process has also resulted in Trustpower partnering with Fish and Game New Zealand to improve stocks of trout in Lake Kaniere. 

As always, we are committed to an open and responsive process of consultation. The nature of any generation development is that not everyone will agree what is the best way forward. We understand this and fully support the consenting process.

Diversion on the Kaniere River
Diversion on the Kaniere River

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