The Lake Taupo Management Zone covers an area of 349,222 ha surrounding and including Lake Taupo. The zone represents 22 percent of the total project catchment area. The boundaries of the zone are shown in map 2. Of the total area, 18 percent is in pasture, 18 percent in production forestry, 41 percent in native vegetation, scrub and other land uses. The Lake surface accounts for 19 percent of the zone and bare ground four percent.
The predominant geology of the area is Taupo pumice (71 percent) with volcanic material accounting for a further 20 percent. The remaining nine percent is greywacke or argillite. As there is very little clay in the soil parent materials to provide cohesiveness, the soils are extremely fragile and prone to severe gully, sheet, rill, streambank and wind erosion. A break in ground cover can lead to major effects on the land and downstream siltation under certain conditions.
Included in the zone area is the Lake Taupo Catchment Control Scheme. This scheme focuses on the pastoral area of the catchment. The objective of the scheme is to ensure the long term protection of the water quality of Lake Taupo through the encouragement of sound land use practices, and the implementation of soil conservation and water resource management measures. The scheme was implemented between 1976 and 1989 and has a replacement value of $16m.