The Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme covers the Rangitāiki River with a 3005km2 catchment and the Tarawera River with a 984km2 catchment.

This is our biggest River Scheme, and extends all the way down to Rangitāiki in the Taupō District, covering Murupara, Galatea, Waiohau, Te Teko, Kawerau, Edgecumbe and Thornton. It covers rivers streams and tributaries in the area, as well as the region’s longest river – the Rangitāiki – which is 155km long.

It also includes some of the Rotorua Lakes, such as Tarawera, Ōkāreka, Ōkataina, and Tikitapu.

It is one of five major River Schemes that were established in the 1970s by Regional Council (then known as the Catchment Commission) to effectively manage and maintain the flood defences along the awa, to help protect the lives and livelihoods of the community.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council owns and manages an array of flood protection and drainage defences across the rohe (such as stopbanks, floodgates, floodwalls etc). 

As well as developing new or improved flood defences, our team undertake regular work to test, check, repair and maintain these defences.

We do this to make sure they are in good condition, so that when a flood event occurs, the flood defences will help manage the impacts to the community.

All ratepayers across the region contribute to river and drain management. However, if you live within a scheme, you pay an additional targeted rate for the services that you directly benefit from (such as flood protection and drainage).

Find out more information about the River Scheme, Pump & Drainage Scheme targeted rates.

What’s happening in the Scheme?

Latest rainfall

Want to know how much rain your area has had? Access the latest rainfall data here in our Environmental Data Portal.

Latest river levels

Through our Environmental Data Portal, you can see the current level of your river and how this compares to the past 24 hours. Access the data here.

Rangitāiki River floodwalls

Three concrete floodwalls on the Rangitāiki River are being replaced to ensure they continue to help protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.

Rangitāiki Floodway & Spillway

The Rangitāiki Floodway is a multi-stage project designed to take pressure off the Rangitāiki River in a flood event.

Scheme news and updates

24 days ago

Weekly update

Works on the Rangitāiki – Tarawera Rivers Scheme for the week 15 May to 19 May 2023.


Works on the Rangitāiki – Tarawera Rivers Scheme for the week 15 May to 19 May 2023.


Site name

Left/Right bank

Type of works

Person responsible

Awaiti Canal


Left bank

Berm Repairs

Andrew Pawson

Rangitāiki River

College Road

Left bank

Stopbank reconstruction – Earthworks, reinforcing placement & concrete pour

Mark Werpachowski

Rangitāiki River


Right bank

Erosion Repair, Rock Lining, Willow Maintenance

Anaru Freeman

Tarawera River

ORC Outlet

Right bank

Sheet piling and dewatering of the ORC outlet for inspection

Jordan Mandery

See a map of all the work happening this week on our River Schemes.

If you want to discuss any of these works further, please contact the responsible person on 0800 884 880.

Weekly update
29 days ago

Council approves construction of proposed Rangitāiki Spillway design

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Councillors have approved increase in budget for the construction of the Rangitāiki Spillway, following overwhelming support from the community.

In an event, the Spillway enables water from the Rangitāiki River to pass over a fixed crest weir (lowered, concrete-covered stopbank) and into the Floodway. This will help divert water away from the Rangitāiki River and reduce the risk of significant flood damage to both rural and urban areas.

Read more.

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Your River Scheme Advisory Group

Flood protection is an ongoing conversation with the community, to help balance the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts that flood protection presents.

To help achieve this, we established River Advisory Groups, which are made up of local people from along the river with different interest and involvements in the future of the awa. These locals are here to represent your needs and wants for the awa, which helps advise our teams when it comes to flood projects, maintenance and management.

Find out more the Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme Advisory Group.

Co-governance forum

The Rangitāiki River Forum was formed in May 2012 by law to protect and enhance the mauri (life-giving capacity) of the Rangitāiki River and its tributaries.

Find out more about the Rangitāiki River Forum.

river history infographic