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Lake Rerewhakaaitu

Lake Rerewhakaaitu is the southernmost Rotorua Te Arawa lake. At 438m above sea level, it is also the highest. It occupies a shallow basin in the centre of its 37sq km catchment and has a maximum depth of 15.8m. Pasture is the dominant land cover, although exotic and indigenous forest cover has increased over the past few decades.

The small Mangakino and Awaroa Streams to the south feed into the lake and there is no permanent outflow. The Mangaharakeke Stream is the only outlet and flows when the lake level is high. Springs at the head of Te Kauae Stream are likely to be sourced from the lake and groundwater may also flow southeast of the lake through the Rangitaiki Ignimbrite and into the Rangitaiki River catchment. Lake Rerewhakaaitu is shallow, with a maximum depth of about 15m, and is classified as mesotrophic, with moderate productivity and water quality. The lake is known to have iron-rich sediments that may limit phytoplankton production. Monitoring of bottom water-dissolved oxygen concentration is considered important for Rerewhakaaitu, due to the potential for low oxygen levels, which lead to the release of dissolved phosphorus into the water column and increased phytoplankton production. The Rerewhakaaitu community takes an active interest in lake restoration issues and continues to work with the council, NIWA and AgResearch to help reduce the flow of nutrients into the lake. This has resulted in a sustainable farming project that brings the relevant people together to identify and monitor actions to reduce farming nutrient discharge.

Lake Summary
  • Lake size
  • Maximum depth
  • Catchment size
  • Mixing pattern
  • Geomorphic type
Scientific data for this lake

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. Lake SPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level):

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the lifesupporting capacity of a lake and is based on four water quality indicators.

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    Trophic Level Index (TLI) history for this lake

    Trophic Level Indicator (TLI) which measures four parameters: water clarity, chlorophyll content, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. From these parameters a TLI value is calculated. In cases where water clarity data is missing a three parameter TLI is calculated. The higher the value, the greater the nutrients and fertility of the water which encourages growth, including algal blooms. As a rule, higher TLI scores mean poorer water quality. View a factsheet on TLI

    TLI history for Lake Rerewhakaaitu
    TLI history for Lake Rerewhakaaitu data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score

    What do the icons mean?

    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of less than 2. Microtrophic lake conditions.
    Good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 2-3. Oligotrophic lake conditions.
    Average water quality. Trophic Level Index of 3-4. Mesotrophic lake conditions.
    Poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of 4-5. Eutrophic lake conditions.
    Very poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of greater than 5. Supertrophic lake conditions.
    No data available.
  • Ecological Conditions

    Submerged Plant Indicators (SPI)

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    The LakeSPI status describes the ecological condition of the lake and is based on plants present.

    LakeSPI data provided by NIWA

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    LakeSPI history for this lake

    LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) is a method of characterising the ecological condition of lakes based on the composition of native and invasive plants growing in them. A higher LakeSPI percentage result is associated with better ecological health:

    LakeSPI N/A
    LakeSPI {{spiData.grades[0].Value}}%

    The overall LakeSPI score is calculated using a Native Condition Index ('good' plants) and an Invasive Impact Index (introduced, non-native plants):

    Native Condition N/A
    Native Condition {{spiData.grades[0].NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.grades[0].InvasiveIndex}}%

    A higher Native Condition percentage is also good, but a higher Invasive Impact percentage is bad. View a factsheet on SPI

    • SPI %
    • Native Condition %
    • Invasive Impact %
    LakeSPI history for Lake Rerewhakaaitu
    LakeSPI history for Lake Rerewhakaaitu data table
    Sample Date Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

    What do the icons mean?

    Excellent ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 75-100%.
    High ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 50-75%.
    Moderate ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 20-50%.
    Poor ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 0-20%.
    Non-vegetated. A LakeSPI score of 0% (there are no plants present).
    No data available.

Monitored sites on Lake Rerewhakaaitu

...retrieving sites.

No sites found.

Live Data

The lake level is the only measurement collected continuously at Lake Rerewhakaaitu.


The Environmental Data produced by this page should be used as a guide only. LAWA takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information presented, and accepts no liability for actions taken of others based on this information.
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