The strategy for the lakes

The strategy for the lakes of the Rotorua district provides an overall management strategy for the Rotorua Lakes. It is an overarching policy document that gives a vision for the future, with some practical steps to achieve that vision.

The vision for the strategy is to ensure:

The lakes of the Rotorua district and their catchments are preserved and protected for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations while recognising and providing for the traditional relationship of Te Arawa with their ancestral lakes.

The original strategy was adopted in 2000. While the vision is still relevant many other things have changed. A refreshed strategy was developed by a collaborative project team of representatives from the three partner agencies. The community was also involved with various workshops and meetings to capture what the community wants for the lakes.


Read the Strategy

The refreshed Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua district was adopted in September 2013.

Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua district – Te Reo version PDF 11.4 MB

Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua district – English version PDF 11.4 MB

Original Strategy adopted in 2000 PDF1.2 MB


Te Tuapapa o nga wai o Te Arawa/Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework

Te Arawa Lakes Trust has developed Te Tūāpapa o nga wai o Te Arawa / Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework.

It is a values-based Policy Statement that articulates our values in relation to the long term aspirations for the Te Arawa Lakes.

Te Tuapapa o nga wai o Te Arawa/Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework


Lakes Recreation Strategy

The Rotorua lakes are used for a lot of different activities, such as fishing, swimming, picnicking and waterskiing.

The Rotorua Lakes Recreation Strategy (426KB, pdf) guides management actions to provide for this wide range of recreational opportunities while allowing for differences in natural character, facilities and user expectations for different lakes.

The lakes are categorised in four zones, based on their characteristics: The Landing (Rotorua Port Zone), Front Country Accessible, Back Country Accessible, and Remote. Each of these zones has a set of policies to guide lake management decisions.

The Rotorua Lakes Recreation Strategy also identifies three specific management issues and seven management actions to address them.

Management Issue

 Management Actions

Public access to the Rotorua Lakes

 1. Complete a Rotorua Lakes Access Inventory

 1a. Monitoring motorised craft on the lakes

Sign communication, education and interpretation 

 2. Development of coordinated sign panels

 3. The recreation map

 4. Provision of intepretative material by Te Arawa

 5. Public Communication and awareness

Working together

 6. Establishment of a Rotorua Lakes Recreation Forum