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The Rangitaiki catchment covers an area of around 3,005 sq km and the river starts its journey from the Ahimanawa Ranges before traveling through broad flat pumice dominated geology used for pastoral agriculture and pine plantations. As the river travels north-east through the Kaingaroa Forest it is dominated to the east by the Ikuwhenua Ranges in Te Urewera National Park before emerging on the Galatea flood plain, which is covered by dairy farms.


The river has three hydroelectric power schemes in the catchment: at the Whaeo River, Aniwhenua and Matahina. The lowland reaches of the Rangitaiki Plains are flat and low lying and the land use dominated by dairy farming. Two settlements are adjacent to the river on the Rangitaiki Plains, Te Teko and Edgecumbe. At Edgecumbe Fonterra operates a large dairy factory and discharges waste products to land and the river.

Monitoring of the Rangitaiki River occurs at Murupara, Aniwhenua and Te Teko. An increase in turbidity and nitrogen is apparent at Murupara and is thought to be due to more intensive land use in the upper catchment.

Sites 21

Monitored sites in the Rangitāiki catchment

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