Lake Rotokakahi

Lake Rotokakahi

Lake Rotokakahi

Rotokakahi means the lake of the shellfish "kakahi". While the Green Lake is now deserted and tapu, in days gone by it was heavily populated. The lake was known for its kakahi, an edible shellfish found in the lake's sandy bed. It is also famous for its island named Motutawa, the burial ground of many Maori ancestors

Rotokakahi is privately owned by local iwi and considered tapu or sacred, with no swimming or boating permitted on the lake. A small island on the lake is also of historical significance, and many people are buried there.

At a glance  
Lake size: 440 ha
Catchment area:  1860 ha
Elevation:  394 m
Average depth: 17.5 m
Deepest point: 32 m
Formed: 13,300 years ago
Drains to Lake Tarawera via Te Wairoa Stream  









Water Quality Status

Water quality is declining in Lake Rotokakahi and an Action Plan is being developed with the owners of the lake. The 3 year average TLI for the lake is well above its target of 3.1.

Catchment Map

Click here to view image of map.

Target and Results

An Action Plan for Lake Rotokakahi is being developed in consultation with the owners of the lake to determine the nutrient load to the lake and what actions can be taken to improve the lake's water quality. There are complicated information gaps for this lake largely related to establishing nutrient sources and groundwater interactions which staff are working on.

Water Quality target 


2017 result


2016 result 







Actions and achievements

An Action Plan will be developed in consultation with the lake owners to confirm the actions required for Lake Rotokakahi.