28 April 2017

The Okere Gates remain fully open following the recent heavy rain in the Bay of Plenty, which saw Rotorua’s lakes reach unprecedented levels.

The Ohau Weir stop logs were taken out on March 11 and the Okere Gates fully opened on March 27 in light of rising lake levels.

The gates are likely to remain fully open for the next two weeks based on the current situation.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council principal engineering surveyor Graeme O’Rourke says water levels in Lake Rotoiti are still very high, which isn’t surprising given the amount of rainfall so far this month.

“High levels are causing erosion concerns around lake frontages. Ohau Channel flows remain very high, also causing inundation of local properties.

“We’re doing all we can to get the level back within a normal operating range but this will take time. The good news is that the lake levels are slowly declining,” Graeme says.

Lake Rotoiti has dropped 100mm in the past 10 days and Lake Rotorua has dropped 200mm in the same period. However any further rain may elevate levels again.

The regional council continues to monitor lake levels daily and will notify people of any change.

The Okere Gates and Ohau Weir are man-made structures to help control water levels in lakes. The gates were constructed in 1982 to regulate the flow of water from Lake Rotoiti into the Kaituna River. The Ohau Weir was constructed in 1989 to control water level fluctuations in Lake Rotorua.

For more information about either structure please visit