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Rivers of New Zealand


The rivers of New Zealand are used for a variety of purposes and face a number of environmental issues. Many of the rivers in the South Island are braided rivers.


The longest river in New Zealand is the Waikato River with a length of 425 kilometres. The largest river by volume is the Clutha River with a mean discharge of 533 cubic metres per second.

Some of the rivers, especially those with wide flood plains and stop banks, have long road bridges spanning them. The Rakaia River is crossed by the longest bridge in New Zealand at 1,757 metres. The third longest bridge is the Whirokino Trestle Bridge on State Highway 1 crossing the Manawatu River.

Over 180,000 kilometres of rivers have been mapped in New Zealand.