Past Events

Past NZ Rivers Group Events

Lessons Learnt from 2017 Rangitāiki River Flood

Date: May 1, 2020

Time: 3pm - 4pm

Location: Online

Join Kyle Christensen in an interactive session to find out about the factors that contributed to the failure of the floodwall at Edgecumbe in the 2017 flood (note – this was presented at the 2019 River Managers/Rivers Group Workshop on Whakatane). The presentation will be 30 – 40 mins with time for questions/discussion afterwards.

2020 NZ Rivers Group UoA Symposium

Date: April 28, 2020

Time: 13:00 - 17:00

Location: University of Auckland Science Centre, 23 Symonds St (Bldg 303), Room G16

Student Event

Please join us for an afternoon showcasing the cutting-edge river related research (broadly defined) currently taking place across the University of Auckland.

We will hear talks of the latest research from students and also hear keynote talks on how river research can be translated into effective river management and practice in New Zealand. There will be a prize for best student presentation on the day, and the relaxed atmosphere will present multiple opportunities to mingle and network with colleagues, students and staff at the University.

Please register your interest here

Important dates:

  • Friday 20 March: If you would like to give a talk, please send a title and short (100 word) abstract by then to Edwin Baynes ( Please encourage your students to submit a title, and if you have something exciting that you would like to talk about then please also feel free to submit a title.
  • Wednesday 1 April: Symposium schedule circulated.

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact Edwin Baynes (

NZ Hydrological Society Conference

Start date: December 3, 2019

End date: December 6, 2019

Location: Energy Events Centre, Queens Drive, Rotorua

External Provider Event

NZ Hydrological Society Conference
Water: Above, below and beyond. Challenges facing civilization   

With over 100 oral presentations and more than 35 posters the conference programme promises to showcase the latest research in the field of Hydrology.
Along with great Plenary Speakers, networking opportunities, trade exhibitors and interesting field trips the conference is not to be missed!

Earlybird Registration extended till 25 Oct.

All conference information can be found on the conference website


11th River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics Symposium – RCEM 2019

Start date: November 18, 2019

End date: November 21, 2019

Time: 9am - 5pm

Location: Auckland University of Technology

NZ Rivers Group Event

DSC00801_Jo Hoyle

Mauri ora ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai, haere mai, ki Tamaki Makaurau, ki Te Waitemata.

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the Engineering New Zealand/Water New Zealand Rivers Group in association with the University of Auckland are proud to announce the 11th River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics Symposium – RCEM 2019, which for the first time comes to Aotearoa, New Zealand, land of the long white cloud.

2019 promises to be a unique and memorable event as the River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics Community celebrates its 20th year anniversary. The Conference will be hosted in Auckland from 16-21 November 2019. 

Celebrating 20 years, the theme of the Conference is “Ka mua, ka muri: Looking back, moving forward”, and the programme will include plenary speaker presentations as well as special and contributed sessions, poster displays, a diverse array of exhibits, networking functions, and field trips that showcase Auckland’s unique natural environments and attractions. 

New Zealand is home to some of the most spectacular water-shaped morphodynamic locations worldwide. The Conference will be held in early summer in the city of Auckland, within walking distance of the CBD, museum, art gallery, parks and the Waitemata waterfront. Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands including Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands. Auckland is boasting three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Auckland in November 2019. Nau mai haere mai! Welcome!

Heide Friedrich
Chair of the Local Organising Committee

Resilient Dams & Levees for Resilient Communities

Start date: October 9, 2019

End date: October 12, 2019

Location: Pullman Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

External Provider Event

NZSOLD ANCOLD 2019 | Combined Conference
Resilient Dams & Levees for Resilient Communities

Registrations are now open for the NZSOLD and ANCOLD 2019 conference: Resilient Dams and Levees for Resilient Communities.

9 Oct Pre-conference workshop: Resilient Dams in an Earthquake Environment.
Speakers include Lelio Mejia, Paul Somerville, David Reid and more.

10 – 11 Oct Conference: Resilient Dams and Levees for Resilient Communities
Keynote Speakers include Michael Rogers, Elena Sossenkina and Kelvin Berryman

Dams for resilient communities themes

  1. The role of dams and levees in creating resilient communities

  2. Operation of dams and levees in creating resilient communities

  3. Emergency preparedness to ensure resilient communities

  4. Environmental and social benefits and impacts

Resilient  dam and levee themes

  1. Design and safety issues for dam resilience

  2. Design and safety issues for levee resilience

  3. Operation for resilience

  4. Construction for resilience

12 Oct Post-Conference Tour: Visit interesting and scenic dams whilst enjoying the renowned hospitality of the region.

River Practitioners Workshop: River processes and solution for river management

Start date: June 26, 2019

End date: June 27, 2019

Time: 08:30 am to 05:00 pm

Location: Massey University campus, Palmerston North

External Provider Event


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. In turn, working with the dynamics of the river is critical for effective and sustainable river management, to reduce the risks of failure and loss of infrastructure and capital, and even improve the aesthetics and habitat of managed river reaches.

We invite participants to discuss particular issues and sites that they may be working with currently or expect to engage with in the future, to connect our theory with your practice. Problem-cases in particular are welcome to discuss in a BYO case study session.

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: $500, covering lunches, morning & afternoon teas, field excursion, tuition, resources
Registration to close: 21 June 2019

On shallow mixing interfaces and their relevance for understanding mixing at river confluences

Date: May 14, 2019

Time: 10am

Location: OGGB5 Building 260, room 051 Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland 1010

Although confluence flows are ubiquitous, occurring in geophysical systems, such as river networks, mechanical systems, such as duct or pipe networks, and biological systems, such as arterial or venous networks, understanding of the fluid dynamics of confluences is limited.

This research proposes a generalized framework characterizing the fluid dynamics of open-channel confluences with a concordant bed, including an-in depth investigation of the physics of shallow mixing layers developing over a no-slip surface. Using eddy-resolving numerical simulations in idealized geometries, we systematically examine the main parameters (confluence angle, velocity ratio, density ratio, curvature of the downstream channel) that control confluence fluid dynamics and the influence of this dynamics on mixing between the two incoming streams. In particular, we investigate the role played by the quasi-2D large-scale eddies generated within the mixing interface and by the streamwise-oriented vortical (SOV) cells forming in the vicinity of the mixing interface in mixing.

We show that the main reason why SOV cells have a large capacity to enhance mixing and to entrain sediment from the bed in the case of a loose-bed boundary is because their cores are subject to large-scale bimodal oscillations toward and away of the mixing interface.

Finally we discuss some examples where shallow mixing interfaces form at river confluences with natural bathymetry and in particular the role played by density differences between the incoming streams on hydrodynamics and mixing of concordant bed confluences.

No RSVP required!

The biomechanics and neuroscience of fish behaviour flow

Date: May 3, 2019

Time: 15.00 - 16.00

Location: Auckland University OGGB Lecture Theatre 160, Room 321 12 Grafton Road, Auckland 1010

The ability of animals to sense and navigate complex environments is unrivaled by even the most sophisticated robots known to humans. Nowhere is this more challenging to understand than in the three-dimensional environment of water, where animals are unconstrained by gravity, often in turbulence flows, and appendages and bodies are at the mercy of complex fluid-structure interactions.

Fishes, which comprise over half of all living vertebrates, have an exquisite control mechanism for negotiating turbulence. I will describe advances my lab has made in understanding how fish swim in unsteady flows, and how by study nature’s designs we can reveal insights into some of the biggest challenges in engineering and robotics.

No RSVP required!

‘Lessons learnt from large flood events in the Bay of Plenty Region’ Workshop

Start date: April 10, 2019

End date: April 11, 2019

Time: 9.30 am - 5pm

Location: Whakatane

Why attend the “lessons learnt from the large flood events in the Bay of Plenty Region” workshop?

The River Manager’s forum is a group of river managers from all regional and unitary councils across New Zealand, who come together to share knowledge, experiences and lessons learnt in the management of New Zealand Rivers from a council perspective. The Rivers Group is a forum for all those with an interest in rivers, flood risk management and the operational and environmental issues of catchments and river systems.

Understanding River Management in the Bay of Plenty 

Understanding the events leading up to large flood events, things that unfolded during those flood events, and the response from the Regional Council and Civil Defence, help us collectively to understand and plan for future flood events.

  • Learn about the Rangitāiki River flood scheme and the Rangitāiki floodway, and some of the challenges the council faces moving forward.
  • Hear about BOPRC’s flood forecasting model for the Rangitāiki River, and how it performed in light of the 2017 flood event.
  • Learn more about the three major flood events that have occurred in the Bay of Plenty in the last few years, and the independent reviews and recommendations from two of these.
  • This event is a unique opportunity to network with river professionals and leaders in river management.
  • There is an opportunity for robust discussion with the BOPRC river management team during the panel discussion.
  • Inspire each other with our stories of success, challenges and celebration. 
  • Participate in an interactive field trip through the Rangitāiki River with those involved with managing the river. 

View the programme

Member Early Registration $350.00
Member Late Registration $450.00
Non-member Early Registrations $430.00
Non-Member Late Registration $500.00
Student Full Registrations early & late $280.00
Day One only member $290.00
Day one only Non-Member $320.00
Field Trip Only $85.00

Rivers Group Conference

Start date: November 21, 2018

End date: November 22, 2018

Time: 8.30am - 5pm

Location: Massey University - AgH Lecture Block Tennent Drive, Massey University Palmerston North

Rivers Group Banner 1

Engineering New Zealand/Water NZ Rivers Group are excited to invite you to the 2018 Conference to be held in Palmerston North on 21 -22 November.

The conference theme is “Emerging Understanding on Key Issues Facing New Zealand’s Rivers”. On day one, delegates will hear from a number of members from the industry and leading researchers on a range of subjects related to the challenges and successes of New Zealand Rivers. Day two includes a field trip to the Manawatu River and Gorge.

We look forward to seeing you in Palmerston North this coming November.