Page content Page content Section navigation Topic navigation Accessibility keys Sitemap Search Contact us portal
Go to Waikato Regional Council homepage
search icon mail icon contact us icon

  Services » Publications » Technical reports - by year » tr201512

Geothermal features annual monitoring report: January 2015

Report: TR 2015/12

Author: Claire Littler

About this report

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires that regional councils sustainably manage geothermal resources. Geothermal surface features are an important part of the geothermal resource and some cases are outstanding natural features to be protected from inappropriate use and development (RMA s6(b)). Throughout the region, most geothermal features and ecosystems are adversely affected to a greater or lesser degree by geothermal resource use or uses of land and water. Section 35(1) and (2a) of the RMA require the regional council to gather information and undertake or commission research to monitor the state of the environment as necessary to carry out its functions. Waikato Regional Council monitors the natural state of the geothermal resource and assesses what changes of state have occurred or are occurring.

This report describes the results of the quarterly monitoring schedule for the 2014 to 2015 year on the state of geothermal features throughout the region.

Uses of the quarterly and annual monitoring reports include:

  • Providing Waikato Regional Council and other researchers with long-term information on the natural range of heat and mass outputs of geothermal features
  • Identifying significant changes in the behaviour of features that could be precursors to extreme events such as hydrothermal eruptions
  • Identifying departures from the baseline trend of feature activity so that the cause can be investigated
  • Identifying unintended human-induced adverse effects on springs (e.g. litter blowing into them, road runoff, pines falling in) that can then be remediated
  • Similarly, identifying threats to the features that can mitigated before they happen
  • Identifying activities that may require enforcement action, such as discharge of contaminants to geothermal pools
  • Counting the number of visitors to springs, to aid in quantification of the economic value of the geothermal resource to the Waikato region.

Remediation work has been completed at Tahunaatapu pool, Whangairorohea. The pool appears to have stabilised.

No major hydrothermal eruptions or other major changes of either natural or human-induced origin were observed in the months April 2014 to January 2015.

Read or download the report

Geothermal features annual monitoring report: January 2015 (PDF 3mb)

Contact us to request subsequent reports from this series. 


  Executive summary ix
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Report Content 1
1.3 Method 1
2 Golden Springs 2
2.1 Pools in stream through the Golden Springs Motel 2
2.2 Pools across the road from the Golden Springs Motel 3
3 Ngatamariki 5
3.1 Hydrothermal Eruption Crater 5
4 Orakei Korako 13
4.1 Orakei Korako Springs 13
4.2 Waihunuhunu Inlet 43
5 Reporoa 46
5.1 Butcher’s Pool 46
5.2 Wharepapa Road 47
5.3 Longview Road 53
6 Rotokawa 55
6.1 Lagoon Springs 55
7 Tauhara 57
7.1 Lake Taupo Shore 57
7.2 Otumuheke 62
7.3 Waipahihi Source 64
8 Te Kopia 67
8.1 Mud Geyser and associated pools 67
8.2 Mud Pools (Tomos) on west of Te Kopia Road 70
9 Waikite 73
9.1 Waikite Swimming Pool area 73
9.2 DOC Reserve on Landcorp Farm 77
10 Waiotapu 82
10.1 Tourist Walk 82
10.2 Knox Geyser area 98
10.3 Waiotapu Loop Road Pools 105
10.4 Kerosene Creek Area 106
11 Whangairorohea 108
11.1 Tahunaatapu Pool 108
12 Appendix  
About this site     Contact us     Feedback and complaints New Zealand Government