Lakes Areare, Ruatuna, Rotomānuka

Lakes Areare, Ruatuna, Rotomānuka

About the area

Globally peat lakes are rare ecosystems – the Waikato Region is home to 31 of them. These lakes formed over thousands of years and are home to species that have adapted to their unique conditions.

Classified as ‘acutely threatened’, the Waikato peat lakes are important historically, culturally and environmentally.

Living Water is focused on three specific lakes – Areare, Rotomānuka and Ruatuna. Improving water quality of these lakes will help mudfish, bittern, fern birds, dab chicks and long-finned eel return. It will also enhance recreational use.

The challenge

Lakes Areare, Ruatuna and Rotomānuka have elevated levels of nutrients, sediment and pathogens, and considerable nutrient stores within lake sediments. This has been caused by the various productive land uses in the area and the highly modified hydrology and drainage systems. Enhancement of water quality in these lakes is extremely difficult and will require a range of remediation measures.

Living Water’s key focus is restoring unique peat ecosystems, enhancing habitat around the lake margins, and transforming agricultural drains into healthy waterways.

  • 268ha Areare sub-catchment area
  • 479ha Rotomānuka sub-catchment area
  • 190ha Ruatuna sub-catchment area
  • 10 Fonterra dairy farms
Sunrise at Lake Rotomanuka

Lakes Ruatuna and Rotomānuka catchment

Lake Areare catchment

Long-term goals

50% increase in freshwater habitat

100% lake margins and contributing waterways restored

100% Fonterra farms engaged

100% landowners engaged

Our team

Dion Patterson

Dion Patterson

DOC Site Lead
Anna-Lena Wright

Anna-Lena Wright

Fonterra Sustainable Dairying Advisor
Natasha Grainger

Natasha Grainger

DOC Freshwater Advisor
Michael Paviour

Michael Paviour

DOC Supervisor Ranger
Tim Brandenburg

Tim Brandenburg

Living Water Programme Lead
Ray Scrimgeour

Ray Scrimgeour

DOC Operations Manager
David Speirs

David Speirs

DOC Operations Director
Paul Grave

Paul Grave

Fonterra Regional Head Farm Source

Our farmers

Rob and Jo Moritz

Rob and Jo Moritz

Are you part of Living Water?

Are you part of Living Water?

Contact us to have your farm acknowledged and your photo added

Our partners & friends

Karen Denyer

Karen Denyer

National Wetland Trust of New Zealand
Tony Roxburgh

Tony Roxburgh

National Wetland Trust of New Zealand
Karen Fullerton

Karen Fullerton

Ohaupo Community
Karen and Alasdair Nicoll

Karen and Alasdair Nicoll

Ohaupo Community
Keri Thompson, Tana Bell and Brodie Spearpoint

Keri Thompson, Tana Bell and Brodie Spearpoint

Te Mapi Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust
Lake Ruatuna Users Group

Lake Ruatuna Users Group

Ngāti Apakura

Ngāti Apakura

Waikato Tainui

Waikato Tainui

Waikato Regional Council

Waikato Regional Council

Waipa District Council

Waipa District Council

Waikato District Council

Waikato District Council

University of Waikato

University of Waikato

Fish and Game Waikato

Fish and Game Waikato

NIWA

NIWA

Our projects

Supporting documents