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Hinemaiaia Power Scheme

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Hinemaiaia Hydroelectric Power Scheme is sited on the Hinemaiaia River in the central North Island of New Zealand. The scheme first began power generation in 1952. Today, average annual output is 30 GWh. There is a protected wetland and a productive recreational trout fishery. In partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC), we run a trout trap and transfer programme.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Hinemaiaia River

Commissioned 1952

Max Capacity 6 MW

Annual output 30 GWh

The origins of Hinemaiaia Scheme were in 1939, with a push to develop an electricity supply for Taupo. Power was first generated from Hinemaiaia A Station in 1952 and fed into the national grid from 1958. A second generator was commissioned in 1982, boosting output to 2 MW. 

Hinemaiaia B (1.3 MW) was commissioned in 1966 and Hinemaiaia C (2.8 MW) in 1982. 

Environment and recreation

Hinemaiaia A Lake has grown into a rich wetland, protected through restricted public access. Below Hinemaiaia B Station, there’s a productive trout spawning area. For this stretch of river, we maintain a flow of three cubic metres per second, so long as there’s sufficient flow from Hinemaiaia A Lake. This consistent water flow aids trout migration up the river and avoids any concerns of erosion due to irregular flows. 

We run a comprehensive trout trap and transfer programme, each year releasing 200 trout and around 35,000 fry above Hinemaiaia B Dam. We need to periodically dredge Hinemaiaia A Lake to ensure sufficient water storage. Scientific investigations that we commissioned showed no significant long-term environmental effects from the dredging. 

New Resource Consents for the Hinemaiaia Scheme were granted in 2003, with expiry scheduled for 2036.

Hinemaiaia Station
Hinemaiaia Station

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