Past Events

Past NZ Rivers Group Events

NZ Rivers Group AGM

Date: November 17, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

Further details to follow shortly

Droning on about rivers

Date: September 9, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

Join the Rivers Group and Thomas Kay, Policy Advisor at Kāhu Environmental, for a presentation on assessing and maintaining river habitat quality and natural character: application and policy

River Practitioners Workshop 2021

Start date: June 15, 2021
End date: June 16, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Massey University, Palmerston North

River processes and solutions for river management

15 – 16 June 2021

Massey University, Palmerston North

New Zealand river managers and engineers are tasked with working in some of the most dynamic river systems in the world. Sudden and rapid changes in these channels can render control and modification structures redundant, threaten their integrity, or undo months of river control work.

In this workshop we will introduce the key processes driving river behaviour in New Zealand. Our premise is that understanding these processes is key to working with them, rather than against them.

The workshop is facilitated by Professors Ian Fuller & Russell Death, Innovative River Solutions Group, School of Agriculture & Environment.
Enquiries to Prof. Ian Fuller:
Venue: Massey University campus, Palmerston North
Cost: $1250, covering lunches, morning & afternoon teas, tuition, resources, attendance certificate

Registration to close: 7 June 2021, or when limit of 30 participants reached.

Rivers & climate change: resilience, floods & tipping points

Date: May 26, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

In their natural form, rivers are resilient, and as ‘messy’ rivers they are usually able to absorb and respond dynamically to a natural range of floods without changing form. However, this resilience is arguably under threat. Firstly, managed channels are often designed to resist change, which renders them potentially more vulnerable to disturbance by large floods that exceed design capacity. Secondly, predicted climate change is likely to see a phase-shift (upwards) in flood magnitude and frequency. Do New Zealand’s rivers have the capacity to adjust to forecast changes in flood magnitude and frequency: are they resilient in the face of predicted rapid global change?

To answer this question this webinar follows two threads. Firstly, we need to understand the scale of modification that has taken place in our river systems in recent decades, which we can achieve using an index of change (Natural Character Index), comparing what is observed today (post-management) with what might be expected (pre-management). Secondly, we need to understand the potential phase-shift in flood magnitude and frequency: how big will floods become? A palaeoflood archive is presented from the Whanganui River, which reveals a connection between very large floods and the El Nino Southern Oscillation signal in New Zealand. The potential impact of large storms on river channels can be devastating, exceeding even the natural capacity to adjust without changing form when tipping points are crossed. The prospect for significant future change in New Zealand’s riverscapes must be taken seriously by society. This paper argues there is a pressing need to make room for the river and manage for (much) bigger floods.

Ian is Professor in Physical Geography at Massey University in Palmerston North, where he co-directs the Innovative River Solutions group and has been based since 2003. His research in fluvial geomorphology provides an integrated understanding of river systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He has completed numerous projects for stakeholders in river management and worked in catchments throughout New Zealand, as well as the UK and Europe. Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Ian completed his PhD at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1996, which was followed by a lectureship in Physical Geography at Northumbria University. He is passionate about educating students in NZ’s rivers and linking geomorphology with river management.

WEBINAR: The impact of exotic vegetation in braided rivers

Date: April 28, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

River planform results from the complex interaction between flow, sediment transport and vegetation, and can evolve following a change in these controls. Richard and Gu from NIWA present a modelling approach for analysis of historic and future changes and present two contrasting case studies, the Waimakariri and Waitaki.


Date: March 24, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online

Join the Rivers Group for a presentation on ‘The evolution of river width design for gravel bed rivers in NZ’

Join Kyle Christensen as he demystifies some of the historical approaches of river corridor design through to more modern techniques incorporating a more sophisticated understanding of geomorphic processes and other values.

Picture a Scientist

Date: March 12, 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Tonkin + Taylor Tauranga, 1 Devenport Road, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

Join us as we partner with Tonkin + Taylor and Engineering New Zealand for a viewing of ‘Fascinating and frightening examinations of bias’ followed by an empowering panel session.

The panel discussion will focus on positive action for increasing diversity in STEM and leadership. We’ll hear about what people and organisations have done to tackle inequality, and uplifting moments in careers where equality ‘barriers’ were overcome.

Picture a Scientist is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. A biologist, a chemist and a geologist lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science.

2020 Conference -Weathering the Storm

Start date: December 1, 2020
End date: December 4, 2020
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Invercargill
NZ Rivers Group Event

The New Zealand Hydrological Society,  New Zealand Rivers Group and Freshwater Sciences Society will be hosting a joint conference this year to be held in Invercargill | Waihōpai,  from 1 – 4 December 2020.

The conference theme is Weathering the Storm. This sets the scene for 3 days of oral and poster presentations, as well as some interesting Plenary Speakers, followed by a day of Field Trips. Conference papers covering all aspects of Hydrology and River System Management will be invited.

Further details will be available shortly via the conference website –

POSTPONED – Hydraulics in Water Engineering Conference

Start date: November 16, 2020
End date: November 19, 2020
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Auckland

Considering ongoing travel restrictions with Australia, the decision has been made to postpone this conference. The conference will be rescheduled once there is more clarity around the trans-Tasman bubble arrangements. All 2020 registrations will be automatically transferred to when the conference will eventually take place.

We received a great response from our call of abstracts for HIWE 2020, the 14th Hydraulics in Water Engineering Conference – to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from November 16-19, 2020 ( However, we have been inundated with requests for extensions from authors who might have missed the earlier announcements. We have extended the close of abstracts to Wednesday March 25.


This Conference covers all aspects of hydraulics in water engineering, including: River, Coastal and Marine Hydraulics; Hydraulic Structures; Three-Waters Hydraulics; Ecohydraulics; Infrastructure Hydraulics; Environmental Hydraulics and Climate Change; Hydraulics of Road Design; as well as Numerical, Field and Physical Hydraulic Methods. Read more here

Attention Massey Students

Date: September 25, 2020
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: AHB 1.35A, Massey University

Interested in floods and flood management? Interested in a free feed?

Combine the two at lunchtime (1-2 pm) Friday 25 September with the Rivers Group Stopbank Social, when we will chew down some serious pizza etc while chewing on a recently recorded webinar of Graeme Campbell (Manager, Flood Protection Department, Greater Wellington Regional Council) giving a presentation to the Rivers Group on ‘Beyond the Stopbanks’. Venue: AHB 1.35A

The event is sponsored by the Rivers Group: Student membership is free with no strings attached. If you can’t make this lunchtime session, join up and you will be able to access Graeme’s webinar in the members’ area online.

Please rsvp (for catering purposes if planning to attend) to my email: before noon on Weds 23 Sept. Please alert me to any dietary restrictions you may have.