Freshwater Recreation and Amenity Values in Canterbury: Literature Review and Action Plan Research Completed


Freshwater Recreation and Amenity Values in Canterbury: Literature Review and Action Plan

Lead Author

Gordon Cessford , Craig Jones


Environment Canterbury

Publication Year



Environment Canterbury


Contact Gordon Cessford at Visitor Solutions:


Visitor Solutions were engaged to undertake a literature review of freshwater recreation and amenity values for Environment Canterbury. This was related to recreation uses and management of rivers, lakes estuaries and other non-marine outdoor waterbody types (including artificial). The first objective was to identify and synthesise around 10 ‘common’ recreation value themes applicable across a variety of freshwater sites, setting types, activities and stakeholders. Then to identify key information gaps and develop an action plan to address these. This was undertaken to provide better values consistency and focus to underpin enhanced specification and weighting of recreation issues in freshwater resource management and decision-making. Extensive search processes unearthed around 200 contributing information sources across the academic, management, legal and statutory sectors. These included international sources. Analysis of these revealed generally poor definition and specification of recreation values overall and particularly in the freshwater recreation sector, with very little specific research or management attention being evident. Most references to recreation values were very superficial and limited in usefulness. Deeper analysis and thematic synthesis revealed 12 summary common-value themes, associated information gaps, and priority actions to address these. Recommendations were provided for better structuring elements of the whole freshwater values sector, for addressing gaps in specific value knowledge areas, and for actions to address these gaps and improve applications. From the review it was also concluded that the current study was the most in-depth consideration of freshwater recreational values that has been undertaken anywhere to date.


Freshwater recreation; Recreation values; Freshwater management; Rivers; Lakes; Protected waterways; Resource management

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Areas of Focus

Settings (location)

Provision (delivery type & infrastructure)


Sport and Recreation Types




February 13, 2020

Last Modified

February 13, 2020