The Waihi dam has been a long standing provider of energy to the Wairoa region and generates enough energy to power 1,400 homes. The 5MW Waihi hydro-electricity scheme is situated at Lake Ruapapa on the Waihi River, 26km northwest of Wairoa in the Hawke’s Bay region.

The plant catchment stretches up to the Panekiri range in the Te Urewera National Park. Its reservoir is 5.2km in length, with an area of 42 hectares holding almost two million cubic metres of water.

The dam is an earth fill construction with 15m high concrete buttresses which channel the water through the intakes and penstocks to the powerhouse below the dam on the Waiau River. The powerhouse contains two 2.5MW turbines and supplies electricity into the local Wairoa network.


The dam was completed by the Wairoa Power Board in 1986, bought in 1999 by the company that became Eastland Group, and is now part of Eastland Generation’s renewable energy portfolio.

As highlighted during severe weather events, having this embedded local generation makes an important contribution towards energy resilience for the region. 

Environmental initiatives

Our team is carrying out extensive planting of native seedlings on land above the water line, helping to regenerate the area and enhance the habitat for native birds and other wildlife.