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The Tarawera River catchment has an area of approximately 984 km2 and includes six lakes of which Lake Tarawera is the largest. The lake catchments are a mixture of indigenous forest, pasture, and exotic forestry scrub, with some bare ground and scrub in and around Mt Tarawera. In its lower reaches the river travels through the town of Kawerau and past the Tasman mill which is a major user of the river for water and for discharge of wastewater. Dairy farming is prevalent on the Rangitaiki Plains.


Water quality is routinely monitored at the lake outlet, Kawerau and Awakaponga. Increasing trends are apparent for nitrogen and phosphorus while dissolved colour levels, discharged from the Tasman mill, show a decreasing trend.

Sites 19

Monitored sites in the Tarawera catchment

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