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One of the guiding principles for the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme is to be grounded in best knowledge including matauranga and science and open to a full range of solutions.

Our programme is supported by innovation, science and research to develop our actions and approach to reduce the impact of nutrients already in the lake, as well as finding solutions to prevent nutrients entering the lake.  The Lakes Programme Science Plan is updated yearly and aims to:

  • Provide science directions for monitoring, research, and advice for the programme for the next 12 months to 5 years
  • Provide an opportunity for team members to identify science gaps within the programme and help set the science direction for the plan
  • Provide a transparent and visible science plan for the RTALP partners and public, so that science direction and priorities are understood
  • Provide science that is a foundation for clear lake restoration and protective action, monitor the progress and identify where action and science needs to adapt in response to the results observed
  • Provide science that will underpin policy and plans required to manage lake catchments sustainably in line with community objectives. The community objectives are for each lake are set as TLIs in the Regional Water and Land Plan

Due to science and research the programme is using or trialling the following interventions:

·         Ohau diversion wall

·         Treatment of geothermal nitrogen sources

·         Floating wetlands

·         Detainment bunds

Go to the library to read the science reports.



The science of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme is supported by Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand's (LERNZ) work.

The LERNZ programme is a series of projects that aim to restore indigenous biodiversity in lakes by developing:

• New models and technologies to effectively manage harmful algal blooms.
• New pest fish management and control technologies.

To learn more about LERNZ projects please visit


Chair in Lakes Management and Restoration 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has funded a Chair in Lakes Management and Restoration at the University of Waikato.  Professor David Hamilton’s work is focussed on the Rotorua lakes.  Several other research organisations are also involved in the programme, including:

  • Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences
  • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
  • AgResearch

Research includes:

  • Groundwater flows
  • Lake dynamics
  • Economic evaluations of land use change
  • Nutrient management options
  • Surface water flows

Go to our library to view research reports