31 August 2023
Following the cyclones of January/February, Rotoiti lake levels have continued to be volatile with drier spells through March/April and then another 478mm rainfall fell during May which kept levels high throughout June/July due to continuing ground saturation across the District. The Okere gates were in fact kept wide open every day from 1 May to 27 July (88 days). The advent of drier El Nino weather patterns has provided recent relief enabling the lake to be held within operational range over August whilst allowing for some commercial rafting activities to resume on the Kaituna River.
The Annual Meeting of Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Operational Liaison Group (RTALOLG) was held 21st June. Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s 2022/23 Annual Report for presentation/discussion can be viewed HERE. The RTALOLG was set up as a condition of the Environment Commissioners decision following the Review of 2012. The purpose of the meeting is for BoPRC to present its Annual Report on Lake Level Management for year 1 April to 31 March to the Liaison Group which includes iwi group representatives, and provide opportunity for discussion of any issues which may have arisen. The Group is able to make relevant recommendations for consideration by BoPRC.
Jim Stanton is our long term LRCA representative on this Group and completes his current term as Chair next year. Further back-up representation is desirable so if any LRCA member is keen to become involved in this issue please email us at LRCA@rotoiti.co.nz. Ideally, to help maintain our close participation going forward, the contender would be prepared to gain a good background knowledge of the history surrounding the maintenance of Rotoiti lake levels, keep abreast of evolving issues, and be available to attend any important meetings etc.