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The upper Kaituna River catchment encompasses 623 km2 and includes Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti and their tributaries. Land use in the upper catchment is dominated by pasture and urban development. The catchment area downstream of Lake Rotoiti is approximately 620 km2 and is dominated by pastoral and exotic forestry. Much of the mid section of this catchment has had suitable land converted to horticulture with kiwifruit being very popular.


The lower regions of the catchment are predominantly productive river flat plains with extensive drainage schemes. The dominant land use being dairy farming. A meat processing works, which discharges wastewater into the river, is located in the lower catchment at Rangiuru.

Water quality is monitored at several sites down the river and there are notable increasing trends for turbidity and nitrogen and a decreasing trend for dissolved oxygen saturation. Indicator bacteria (faecal coliforms and enterococci) have significant decreasing trends which are thought to be due in part to improvements in the meat works discharge.

Sites 35

Monitored sites in the Kaituna catchment

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