Rotorua Geothermal System

The Rotorua Geothermal System or Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua underlies part of Rotorua City, from the southwestern end of Lake Rotorua to the Whakarewarewa Valley.

It has many different social, cultural and economic values, and is considered to be a taonga (treasure).

We know that the system is fragile, that it is still recovering from our past mistreatment, and that it cannot meet unlimited demand for geothermal water, energy and heat.

Over the past 40 years, GNS and Bay of Plenty Regional Council have been monitoring, analysing and assessing the state and trends of the Rotorua Geothermal System.

We do this to understand what’s happening below the surface and how this is reflected in the geothermal surface features above ground.

This monitoring and research informs our plans and policies, which are regulatory tools to help us balance the use of geothermal, while keeping it safe for future generations.

Drafting a plan

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has led the development of the draft Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan (SMP), alongside tangata whenua through the establishment of a haukāinga working group, engagement with iwi entities, and engagement more widely through multiple hui-a-iwi.

Wider community views were also gauged from key stakeholders, such as resource consent holders and Rotorua Lakes Council, through workshops. This input has guided the structure, draft vision, principles for how we will behave and the overall management approach in the SMP.

The SMP has been developed as a ‘care plan’ – a holistic and integrated approach to the sustainable management of the system and includes:

  • A vision for the Rotorua Geothermal System
  • Principles for how we will behave
  • A broad management approach

Tukua tō kōrero- Have your say

We are now asking the community for feedback from those living, working or operating a business in the Rotorua Geothermal System.

You can provide feedback at one of our community drop-in sessions (see right) or online until Friday 8 December.

This feedback will then be considered by a joint panel of Regional Councillors and haukāinga representatives before the SMP is finalised and adopted by Bay of Plenty Regional Council in 2024.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more - contact us below

In writing

Attention: Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan
Freepost 122076
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
PO Box 364
Whakatāne 3158