Story: Hydroelectricity

Mighty Waikato

The Waikato, New Zealand’s longest river, powers eight hydroelectric stations producing over 1,000 megawatts between them. With a high and stable water flow, the Waikato was ideal for hydroelectric generation. Horahora, built between 1910 and 1913, and Arapuni (1924–29), were the first. (Horahora now lies beneath Lake Karāpiro.) Other stations were planned in the 1930s, but construction was delayed by the Second World War. The Waikato power stations supplied nearly half of New Zealand’s power in the mid-1960s.

Photographs supplied by Mighty River Power

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How to cite this page:

John E. Martin, 'Hydroelectricity - National hydro system', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/22463/mighty-waikato (accessed 14 August 2022)

Story by John E. Martin, published 11 Mar 2010