Lake Kimihia is a Significant Natural Area of very high importance and value to Waikato-Tainui hapū, in particular Ngāti Naho, Ngāti Mahuta and Ngāti Whāwhākia. The land included in this project is owned by the Department of Conservation.
The lake was reduced from 318ha to 44ha as a result of historic open cast mining. It currently has very low levels, due to the mining, and has been completely drying out over recent summers, leading to the death of tuna (eels) and significant loss of habitat.
This project has Jobs for Nature funding by MfE for the construction of a bund and weir to raise the level of the lake to at least 8 metres, and Waikato River Authority funding to undertake planting and fencing around the lake. It also has funding from MBIE which will undertake catchment improvements and ecological and cultural enhancements. It’s a collaborative project involving a number of stakeholders, including Waikato Regional Council, Waikato District Council, Waikato River Authority, Waikato-Tainui, the Department of Conservation, NZTA and landowners.
- Funded: $740,000 by MfE (Public Waterways and Ecosystems Restoration Fund from the Jobs for Nature programme – for lake level restoration)
- Funded: $640,000 by MBIE (climate resilience – for ecological and cultural enhancement)
- Total project cost: $1.5m
- Project duration: 3 years
- Jobs expected over project life: 3