People are being asked not to gather food from the upper Waikato River until further notice.

Ngati Tahu – Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust, supported by Te Arawa River Iwi Trust, has placed a rāhui from Te Waiheke o Huka (Huka Falls) to Pohaturoa (Atiamuri).

A rāhui is a management tool used to restrict use of an area to ensure the principles of kaitiakitanga (stewardship) are upheld and to protect the health and wellbeing of the community.

The action follows wastewater discharges into Lake Taupō following a major sewerage leak on July 2.


The Taupō District Council has been trying to control the wastewater leak with temporary measures but there have been two additional smaller spills.

The council plans to replace the broken sewer main today and and tomorrow.

Signs will be installed at access points to the river to inform people about the rāhui.

This covers fishing for trout, eel, koura and the gathering of watercress.

Evelyn Forrest, environmental manager of Ngati Tahu - Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust, said while people may be inconvenienced by the rāhui, it was hoped they understood the need for the measure and appreciated what is a long-standing Māori environmental custom.