Tumunui South farm manager Colin Tremain says he has been amazed by the nation's response to the tomo left as a result of Sunday's rain.

"To be honest I think the response has amazed me more than the actual hole."

Tremain does admit however, that while tomo are not uncommon on the State Highway 5 farm, they are not often of the size and scope of the one responsible for such a response.

"The photos don't really do it justice either. It's pretty impressive when you're standing beside it."

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The tomo is pretty impressive when you're standing beside it, says Tumunui South farm manager Colin Tremain.
The tomo is pretty impressive when you're standing beside it, says Tumunui South farm manager Colin Tremain.

The tomo, which is the Maori word for sinkhole, is about 200m long, 30m wide and 20m in depth.

GNS scientist Bradley Scott was at Tumunui South Farm today.

"It's certainly the biggest of its kind that I have seen," Scott told the Rotorua Daily Post.

The Rotorua district is a terrain of volcanic sediments and chasms form when underground drainage is suddenly enlarged by heavy rain. The drainage passages occasionally break through to the surface and that is what appears to have happened in this case.

Something similar occurred in June 2016 when heavy rain caused a section of SH5 at Tumunui to close due to flooding. When the water drained, significant damage attributed to a tomo was revealed.

"I've probably moved on from it [the tomo] quite quickly," Tremain said.

"While eye-catching, it is just a hole and there are a few other things on my mind."

In March Tremain was crowned 2018 Central Plateau Dairy Manager of the Year. Tomorrow he is being judged for the national title.

"I'm probably quite lucky that part of my job as farm manager is dealing with people and any inquiries they might have. It's stood me in fairly good stead when answering questions about the tomo," he laughed.