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The Waitahanui Stream arises north of Lakes Rotoehu and Rotoma and is predominantly spring fed. The catchment area is 155.4 sq km and the geology is dominated by volcanic activity with Rotoiti pyroclastics, smaller welded ignimbrite flows and volcanic sediments. Much of the catchment is covered in exotic forestry with patches of indigenous vegetation. Pastoral farming and horticulture occur closer to the coast and a quarry is operated at Otamarakau. 

Water quality is monitored at State Highway 2 and is characterised by relatively high dissolved phosphorus levels due to phosphorus being leached out of the underlying volcanic geology. No significant water quality trends have been identified.

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Monitored sites in the Waitahanui catchment

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