The source is in the foothills of the Southern Alps and it is a tributary of the Selwyn River. The Central Plains Water Trust is seeking approval to dam the river for a contentious irrigation scheme. The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme is opposed by environmental groups such as Fish and Game and Forest and Bird, and by the locally-based Malvern Hills Protection Society.
- It has been said to have been one of the best looking rivers in New Zealand
The Valley originally belonged to the Deans Family. This particular block belonged to one of the Deans sisters and she sold it to the Hawke Family. The Hawkes broke it in turning tussock country into exceptional dairying country. The homes built by William A Hawke and Ernie Hawke still stand. The first farmer to use top dressing aircraft was Ernie Hawke on this property.
- "Place Name Detail: Waianiwaniwa River". New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
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