Ashburton River / Hakatere

The Ashburton River / Hakatere is a river in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand, flowing across Mid Canterbury from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. The official name of the river was amended to become a dual name by the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.[1] It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because it supports breeding colonies of the endangered black-billed gull.[2]

Ashburton River / Hakatere
Ashburton NZ aerial
This view of Ashburton, New Zealand shows the confluence of south (on left) and north branches
CountryNew Zealand
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ location
Pacific Ocean
 ⁃ elevation
0 metres (0 ft)


The river has two branches which meet 21 kilometres (13 mi) from the coast, just inland of the town of Ashburton. The branches remain parallel and no more than 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) apart for a further 20 kilometres (12 mi) upstream of their confluence, finally diverging near the small settlement of Ashburton Forks.[3][4] The rivers' path southeast across the Canterbury Plains lies in a shallow depression between the higher shingle fans created by the much larger Rakaia and Rangitata rivers.[4] Both branches are crossed via siphons by the Rangitata Diversion Race, part of an irrigation scheme.[3]

The river separates Ashburton from its southern suburb, Tinwald. Both river and town are named for Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton, who was a leading member of the Canterbury Association.[4]

North branch

Ashburton River North Branch / Hakatere
Ashburton NZ aerial
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationGodley Peak
 ⁃ elevation1,705 metres (5,594 ft)
Length98 kilometres (61 mi)
Basin features
 ⁃ leftSwift River

The Ashburton River North Branch / Hakatere flows from the slopes of Godley Peak (2,087 metres (6,847 ft)) in the Palmer Range. The uppermost reach of the river is known as Petticoat lane.[5] The river flows south then southwest through narrow scree-sided valleys with almost no areas of river flats. The Black Hills Range and Pudding Hill Range lie to the northeast and the Alford Range to the southwest. The river emerges from the hills adjacent to Pudding Hill airfield.

South branch

Ashburton River South Branch / Hakatere
Ashburton NZ aerial
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationAshburton Glacier
 ⁃ elevation1,480 metres (4,860 ft)
Length113 kilometres (70 mi) (source – sea)
Basin features
 ⁃ leftStour River

The larger Ashburton River South Branch / Hakatere starts as the outflow of the Ashburton Glacier which flows down from Mount Arrowsmith (2,781 metres (9,124 ft)), 26 kilometres (16 mi) west of the North branch source. It initially flows southeast down a narrow valley between the Big Hill Range and the Wild Man's Brother Range. 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from source the river trends south, turning southeast again to cross the flat Hakatere Valley where the outflows of several small lakes (collectively known as the Ashburton Lakes) join it.[6] The river exits the valley via the Ashburton Gorge, with the Moorhouse Range to the south and the Clent Hills and Winterslow Range to the north, emerging onto the Canterbury Plains at Mount Somers then flowing east towards Ashburton Forks.


  1. ^ "Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998".
  2. ^ "Ashburton River". BirdLife data zone: Important Bird Areas. BirdLife International. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  3. ^ a b New Zealand 1:50000 Topographic Map series sheet BX20 Methven
  4. ^ a b c Beck, Alan Copland (1966). "ASHBURTON RIVER". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  5. ^ New Zealand 1:50000 Topographic Map Series sheet BW19 – Taylors Camp
  6. ^ New Zealand 1:50000 Topographic Map Series sheet BX19 – Hakatere

Coordinates: 44°2′59″S 171°48′3″E / 44.04972°S 171.80083°E

Ashburton, New Zealand

Ashburton (Māori: Hakatere) is a large town in the Canterbury Region, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The town is the seat of the Ashburton District, a territorial authority encompassing the town and a number of small settlements within its surrounding rural area, roughly coterminous with the subregion of Mid Canterbury. It is 85 kilometres (53 mi) south west of Christchurch and is sometimes regarded as a satellite town of Christchurch.Ashburton township has a population of 20,200, with an additional 12,400 living in the wider district. The town is the 23rd largest urban area in New Zealand and the third-largest urban area in the Canterbury Region, after Christchurch and Timaru.

Hinds River

The Hinds River is a river in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Its north and south branches drain the eastern flank of the Moorhouse Range, part of the Southern Alps, and their confluence is near Anama and Mayfield. The river then flows across the Canterbury Plains towards the Pacific Ocean, passing through the small town of Hinds along the way. In Hinds, State Highway 1 and the Main South Line railway cross the river. The river's mouth is located between the localities of Longbeach and Lowcliffe.

In its upper reaches, the southern arm flows near the Rangitata River and the northern arm flows near the Ashburton River / Hakatere.

The river was named after the Reverend Samuel Hinds, a member of the Canterbury Association that organised the settlement of Canterbury. Hinds was considered an expert in colonisation.Maori name is Hekeao.

Joseph Thomas (surveyor)

Captain Joseph Thomas (1803–?) was a British explorer and the chief surveyor for Lyttelton, Sumner and Christchurch in New Zealand. He took up surveying after service in the British army, gaining the rank of lieutenant. In the 1840s, he explored many parts of New Zealand and worked for the New Zealand Company. This gained him employment with the Canterbury Association, which sent him to New Zealand in 1848. Thomas' role was to find a suitable site for their proposed settlement, and what became the Canterbury region with Christchurch as its capital was the result of his efforts. He was dismissed in early 1851 over quarrels with John Robert Godley, the agent of the Canterbury Association, just after the first settlers had arrived in the colony. Thomas' life after 1853 is unknown. Having allowed for Hagley Park as a generous central city green space is regarded as his major achievement, and it is his lasting legacy.

Lake Clearwater

Lake Clearwater is in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand and is subjected to the strong prevailing northwesterly winds. The outlet feeds into the south branch of the Ashburton River / Hakatere. Located in the upper reaches of the Rangitata River a small village of holiday homes, also called Lake Clearwater, is located between Lake Clearwater and the smaller neighbour Lake Camp. The lake borders, and is proposed to be included in, the Hakatere Conservation Park which covers nearly 60,000 hectares of rugged mountain country, tussocklands, beech forest and sparkling clear rivers and lakes between the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. The lake has a submerged plant indicator rating of 48 (moderate). The Canterbury University Tramping Club selected this location for their annual T'WALK event on 17 May 2014.

Road access to Lake Clearwater is approximately 38 km past Mount Somers and the last half is an unsealed gravel road. No dogs or motor powered craft are permitted on the lake as it is a wildlife reserve, however strong and consistent winds funnelled off the bounding mountains make it an ideal lake for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The adjacent, and smaller, Lake Camp is used by motor powered water craft.

List of dual place names in New Zealand

Some official place names in New Zealand are dual names, incorporating both the original Māori place names and the English names bestowed since European settlement. Although a mixture of Māori and English names is the most common form of dual name, some places, such as Mahināpua Creek / Tūwharewhare, include Māori elements in each part of the name, and Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson) incorporates two English names.

The practice of giving certain New Zealand places dual names began in the 1920s, but dual names have become much more common in the 1990s and 2000s, in part due to Treaty of Waitangi settlements. Many places have names with a long heritage in each culture. For instance, one settlement saw Cloudy Bay, given this name by Captain Cook in 1770, renamed Te Koko-o-Kupe / Cloudy Bay, with the Māori name recalling the early explorer Kupe scooping up oysters from the bay.In rare cases, a place may be given two alternative names instead of one dual name. Prominent examples include the mountain called Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont and the town called Whanganui or Wanganui. These places are not included in the list below.

List of rivers of New Zealand

This is a list of all waterways named as rivers in New Zealand. In a small number of cases, which have not been fully indexed here, there are multiple rivers bearing the same name; in these cases the notation "(#)" indicates the number of rivers sharing the same name and the name-link should lead to a disambiguation page.

Ashburton River / Hakatere
Administrative areas
Towns and settlements (upstream to downstream)
Major tributaries (upstream to downstream by confluence)
Lakes in catchment
(upstream to downstream by location or tributary)
Other features (upstream to downstream)
Longest New Zealand rivers


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