Resources - What does the Mataura River mean to you?

Long before the famous Brown Trout arrived in the Mataura River, attracting fishermen from around the world, the Mataura River was a source of Mahika Kai for early Maori.

Kanakana are a taonga who travel back to Te Au Nui (the Mataura Falls) to spawn. Te Ara has this awesome video showing traditional methods of catching kanakana. You can find plenty of indepth information on kanakana, or lamprey, on Te Ara as well. 

For a general introduction to the importance of the river to Ngai Tahu Whanui and subsequent settlers, checkout the Mataura River page in Project Turangawaewae - Where We Live.  The river was also notorious for flooding.  Get an indepth feel for the 1913 flood that devastated the district in this article from Memories magazine. For an idea of the power of the Mataura River, take a look at one of our films captured by local Raymond Paterson of a smaller flood event in 1968.