Lake Karapiro's growing popularity for sporting events since the completion of the Mighty River Domain in 2010 is pushing recreational use further upstream.

Work on creating a two-lane road to a proposed reserve, about 9km along from the Mighty River Domain, will be completed in July along with a small toilet block.

The road will replace the existing farm track and is the first stage in the reserve development programme.

However the final site design, including whether it will have a jetty, boat ramp or camping area, is still to be decided and requires further public consultation.


Waipa District Council would not say who is redoing the conceptual plans after those commissioned nine years ago were deemed outdated, other than confirming they were to be donated by an interested party.

The party is not the contractor or a potential end user.

Waipa District Council community facilities manager Tony Roxburgh, who is leading the project, said it would be an ongoing development, much like Mighty River Domain had been.

However from July residents will be able to move away from the growing number of events being held at the domain and will be able to travel down the lake-side reserve.

There will also be a small toilet block on the lower lake terrace if the $230,000 budget allows.

"Until we get some facilities we wouldn't promote it as a public area.

"Basically people would go there but until we have got a carpark and a toilet and some of those other facilities we wouldn't want to generate too much use," Mr Roxbrough said.

The development of a new recreational reserve has been in the pipeline since the council bought the 40.58ha Geck property for $1.45 million in February 2001.


At this stage only 10ha of the escarpment and flat river terrace will be developed into the reserve.

"The intention when it was bought was to manage the overflow from the domain.

"The domain is becoming a regional and if not a national venue so when that is being occupied by or used for national or regional events we still wanted to have sufficient area for local residents to go for recreation," Mr Roxbrough said.

He said access from the Mighty River Domain to the river was stretched during the busy summer months and there were some challenges for recreational users wanting to get to the water.

Mighty River Domain manager Liz Stolwyk said activities at the domain had increased significantly over the past few years and new rowing regattas, beach volleyball, an extra hydroplane event and new triathlons had been added to the annual calendar.

In another step to converting the land to a formal reserve, the district council will vote today on changing the name of the land, commonly referred to as the "Geck property", to Waipuke - which means flooded area and was suggested following consultation with local Maori.


The reserve will join Horahora Domain and Mighty River Domain as the third public access area on the western side of the lake.