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Lake Maratoto

Lake Maratoto, about 13km south of Hamilton on the outer fringe of the Rukuhia Peat Bog, is strongly acidic and peat stained. It is the only Waipa peat lake with a pH lower than 7. It supports a number of threatened species and is considered to have the most intact peat bog vegetation of all of the Waipa peat lakes.

Waikato Regional Council has monitored water quality in Lake Maratoto regularly since 2002. While there have been trends for nitrogen and chlorophyll a during this period, overall the lake’s water quality has remained stable.

No submerged vegetation has been found at the lake in submerged plant surveys carried out in 1992 and 2009, which is likely to reflect the natural condition of the lake, with heavy peat staining and limited light penetration for plant growth.

Lake Maratoto is currently fully fenced to exclude stock. Approximately 47ha of the lake bed and surrounding margin is subject to a QEII covenant. Waikato Regional Council has been working with the landowners and QEII National Trust to carry out plant pest control and native planting along the lake margins, and in a large manuka wetland area located on the western side of the lake. In addition to this work, and as part of a subdivision consent relating to land at the southern end of the lake, the landowners are also required to develop and implement a restoration plan for the lake’s wetland margins.

The Waikato Regional Plan sets a minimum water level of 51.3m, to sustain the ecological values of the lake and associated wetlands. As at May 2015, hydrological investigations are underway to assess options for improving water level management at Lake Maratoto.

Major threats include the ongoing effects of drainage and peat shrinkage, nutrient inputs from surrounding land use, invasive plants and animals, and removal of marginal vegetation.

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 Maratoto
    TLI history for Lake Maratoto 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 Maratoto
    LakeSPI history for Lake Maratoto 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 Maratoto

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