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Okere Gates and Ohau Weir

The Okere Gates were constructed in 1982 to regulate the flow of water from Lake Rotoiti into the Kaituna River to control lake levels, preventing lakeside flooding and extreme low lake levels.

The Ohau Weir was constructed in 1989 to control water level fluctuations in Lake Rotorua.

Lakes and river systems are greatly affected by the weather. Lots of rain means the lakes can flood.  To reduce the impact of floods the Gates and Weir can release excess water into the Kaituna River, maintaining a safe water level in the lake.

At times when there is little rain, the Gates and Weir can be closed to prevent lake levels falling too low. The Gates can be adjusted to ensure enough flow so that the ecosystems relying on the river can survive through dry or drought conditions. Control of river flow also helps businesses who rely on the river (for example, kayak and rafting tourism operators), and recreational users. According to the resource consent for them, the gates must also now be managed to prevent the backflow of water in to Lake Rotoiti to protect the water quality of that lake.

Having some control over the water levels in Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua provides safety and certainty for the people and businesses that rely on the lakes.

Okere Gates and Weir Ohau management

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for the operation and management of the gates and weir and work with the community on the environmental management of the area.

The ongoing operation of the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir requires a resource consent because they affect a natural watercourse and can be used to dam the flow of water.  A 35 year resource consent was issued by the Environment Court on 26 March 2012. The Regional Council is now also working with iwi to prepare the Cultural Management Plans required by the resource consents for the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir. Those Cultural Management Plans will propose mitigations that the Regional Council needs to work through with the iwi, some of which will require further consultation with the community and may require changes to the resource consents.

Resource consent and construction information

Research and science reports


Cultural Management Plan for Okere Gates and Ohau Weir – Sections 1 - 3


More information

If you would like more information about the operation of the Okere Gates or Ohau Weir, please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880.