Skip to main content

Mapping of Geothermal Streams and Springs

TR 2007/10

Report: TR 2007/10

Author: Nicholas Holwerda, Ian Blair


The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires that regional councils sustainably manage the geothermal resource. Geothermal features are a part of the geothermal resource and in 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) & (2a) of the RMA requires regional councils to gather information and undertake or commission research, and monitor the state of the environment as necessary to carry out its functions.

Geothermal streams (streams with a temperature greater than 30 °C) and sinter-depositing springs are among the feature types classed as Significant Geothermal Features by the Waikato Regional Policy Statement (RPS). The RPS and Waikato Regional Plan contain policies and methods relating to the protection of Significant Geothermal Features. In addition the Waikato Regional Plan contains Rule controlling drilling near geothermal features that naturally discharge liquid geothermal water (Geothermal Water Features).

As required by the RPS, the Geothermal Module of Waikato Regional Plan contains maps of Significant Geothermal Features in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems. It also contains maps of Geothermal Water Features within those system types.

From time to time, changes to the maps may be required if, for example, new features are discovered or new ones form, existing non-significant features become significant (or vice versa) through either a change in their nature or new understanding of their significance, or if the definition of the feature types changes. In addition, geothermal features can change in their extent, and improvements in mapping technology or the application of more detailed field investigations can lead to more accurate mapping of the features.

This report maps the extent of some geothermal streams and the location of some geothermal springs in Development Geothermal Systems and Limited Development Geothermal Systems. Some of these have not been previously mapped, while others have been mapped, but needed to be done so with greater accuracy.

This report presents the results of field investigations undertaken by Nicholas Holwerda and Ian Blair in late January 2007 to achieve that purpose.

Mapping of Geothermal Streams and Springs [PDF, 1.4 MB]

  Mapping of Geothermal Streams and Springs 1
1 Introduction 1
2 Sites 2
2.1 Mokai 2
2.2 Ngatamariki: Mangamingi Stream 5
2.3 Rotokawa: Lower Parariki Stream 8
2.4 Tauhara: Broadlands Rd Reserve Stream 10
2.5 Wairakei 12
2.5.1 Hall of Fame Stream (also Waikato River) 12
2.5.2 Te Rautehuia Stream 14
2.5.3 Upper Te Kiri O Hine Kai Stream (aka Kiriohineki) 16
2.5.4 Upper Wairakei Stream 18
2.5.5 Waipouwerawera Stream 20
Appendix 1: Site data 22