Green Lake - (Rotokakahi)
Lake Rotokakahi – Overview
Lake Rotokakahi or Green Lake is among one of the four small lakes that lie in NZ’s Bay of Plenty region- other three are Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Lake Okareka and Lake Okataina. Note that all the aforementioned lakes lie along its western edge of the active volcano named Okataina caldera.
It is called Green Lake because from a height the lake looks emerald green; its shallowness and a sandy bottom are being accounted as the reasons. Note that the lake, about 1302 feet above sea level, is known for its abundance of kakahi which flows to Lake Tarawera via the Te Wairoa waterfalls. Rotokakahi still falls under the authority of Te Arawa iwi, Tūhourangi, and since it is considered sacred it largely remains undisturbed.
A Bit About Motutawa
The lake also has a small Island named Motutawa which is most noted for its 1822 slaughter of inhabitants belonging to a part of Ngāpuhi. This further led to an answering revenge raid by the Hongi Hika in 1823. It is also important as it also acts as the resting place of the bones of Hinemoa.
As already stated, the lake is privately owned by the descendants of the Tuhourangi iwi who are a sub-tribe of another wider tribe named Te Arawa but is managed by the Lake Rotokakahi Board of Control. Since the lake is deemed sacred by the tribes therefore there fishing, boating or swimming is not permitted.
It is stated that before the eruption of Mt Tarawera, Māori inhabitants used to utilize the waters of the lake especially for the native Kakahi shellfish.
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