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Kaimai Power Scheme

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  • Kaimai Power Scheme
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  • Highbank Pumping Station
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  • Hume Power Station
  • Arnold Power Station
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  • Mangorei Power Station
  • Matahina Power Scheme
  • Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Power Scheme
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  • Paerau/Patearoa Power Stations
  • Patea Power Scheme
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  • Waihopai Power Station
  • Waipori Power Scheme
  • Wheao and Flaxy Power Scheme
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Kaimai Hydroelectric Power Scheme is in the Wairoa River catchment, in the North Island of New Zealand. The scheme consists of four power stations: Lloyd Mandeno Station, Lower Mangapapa Station, Ruahihi Station and Kaimai 5 Station; with an average annual generation output of 167 GWh. At Kaimai 5 Station a diversion tunnel feeds Lake Mangaonui and there are extensive recreation areas around McLaren Falls.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Wairoa River catchment

Commissioned 1972

Max Capacity 41 MW

Annual output 167 GWh

Ruahihi Power Station

Lloyd Mandeno Station was commissioned in 1972, it is sited on the west bank of the Mangapapa River and produces 16 MW. Lower Mangapapa Station (commissioned in 1979), is 2.8 kilometres (km) further downstream and produces 5.6 MW, while another 4km downstream, Ruahihi (commissioned in 1981) produces 20 MW. Kaimai 5 Station, which sits beside a diversion tunnel feeding Lake Mangaonui, produces 0.3 MW, it was commissioned in 1994. 

Electricity generation in the Wairoa River catchment began at Omanawa Falls in 1915, followed by McLaren Falls Station, which was commissioned in 1925. McLaren Falls closed in 1989, after the commissioning of Ruahihi Station. 

Environment and recreation 

The Kaimai scheme opens up a superb, accessible recreational area that is popular for fishing, kayaking, picnicking and running. Water is released through McLaren Falls bypass up to 26 days a year, providing high flows for river rafters and the Kaimai Canoe Club. 

Pest plants in the Ruahihi Canal and Lake McLaren are sometimes sprayed, helping to keep facilities easily accessible for energy production and for recreation. We carefully manage all spraying to minimise any potential adverse environmental effects.

Resource Consents for the Kaimai Power Scheme will expire from 2026.

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