February 26, 2020
Okato lake bed returned to Te Arawa
All 14 lakes in the Rotorua area are now in the hands of Te Arawa with a ceremony yesterday marking the vesting of Lake Okaro to Te Arawa Lakes Trust.
The lake near the Waiotapu geothermal area on the road from Rotorua to Taupo was not included in the iwi’s 2006 settlement because it was a recreation reserved owned and managed by Rotorua Lakes Council rather than the crown.
The council resolved in 2014 to formally transfer ownership.
Lakes Trust chair Sir Toby Curtis says Okaro has been unfinished business.
He says a settlement has enabled a partnership approach to the management and restoration of the lakes, with Te Arawa values incorporated into decision making with its partners Rotorua Lakes Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and local hapū.
Public access to the lake will continue.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com