Skip to main content

Waikato region shallow lakes management plan: Volume 1

On this page: about this report, read or download the report

Report: TR 2014/58

Author: T Dean-Speirs & K Neilson et alia

About this report

Waikato region shallow lakes management plan: Volume 1 (Objectives and strategies for shallow lake management) (714kb)

Read or download the report

Seventy one (71) lakes in the Waikato region are classed as ‘shallow lakes’, in that they have a maximum depth of less than 10m. More than half of these are less than 5m deep.

These lakes provide for a range of values - as habitat for native flora and fauna including taonga and game species, and also for water supply, flood control, commercial and traditional fisheries, and recreation. Shallow lakes also perform nutrient cycling and other ecosystem processes that contribute to the life supporting capacity of the wider environment.

Shallow lakes function differently to deep lakes in that their depth provides for them to be:

  • capable of supporting submerged aquatic plants over most of the lake bed as their shallow depths allow sufficient light penetration for plant growth;
  • regularly stirred up by wind and wave action which prevents long periods of thermal stratification and serves to recycle nutrients from the bottom sediments. The large interface between the lake bed and water column acts to amplify the influence of lake bed sediments
  • very susceptible to changes in hydrology due to catchment land use; and
  • more heavily impacted by invasive species.

As a result of these features, they are particularly vulnerable to deterioration, and require a specific management approach.

This Shallow Lakes Management Plan draws together information about the shallow lakes of the Waikato region, the policy framework for their management, and the associated management challenges and opportunities.

Volume I identifies objectives and high level management actions to address the key management issues for the lakes, with a specific focus on matters that WRC has responsibility for (i.e. water quality, lake water levels and biodiversity values).

Volume 2 is a complementary resource statement that summarises available information and knowledge for shallow lakes in the Waikato region and proposes key management actions for individual shallow lakes at a greater level of detail.

This plan has a term of 10 years, and will be reviewed after 3 years (in 2018).


  Executive summary
1 Introduction
2 Management context
2.1 Location
2.2 Lake types
2.3 Condition
3 Co-governance and co-management
3.1 The Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act
3.2 Nga wai o Maniapoto (Waipā River) Act 2012
3.3 Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Act 2010
4 Legislative and policy context
4.1 Waikato Regional Policy Statement
4.2 Proposed RPS
4.3 Waikato Regional Plan
4.4 Healthy Rivers: plan for change/Wai ora: He rautaki whakapaipai
5 Inter-agency approach to shallow lake management
6 Strategic direction for Waikato Regional Council
7 Challenges for shallow lake management and progress to date
8 Future objectives for shallow lake management and restoration
8.1 Policy and planning
8.2 Information and monitoring
8.3 Lake restoration and rehabilitation
  Appendix 1: Legislative and policy drivers for the Shallow lakes management plan
  Appendix 2: Key policies, issues, objectives and outcomes in the operative Waikato Regional Policy Statement (RPS) relevant to shallow lake management
  Appendix 3: Oveview of the relevant policies and implementation methods from the Waikato Regional Plan in respect of the issues identified in the Waikato RPS.