The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board is extremely concerned after learning that a group attempting the ‘River Float’ to Ōtumuheke last week were in grave danger. The risk to their wellbeing was such that the Taupō Control Gates that manage river levels were ‘closed’ so that the group could be recovered safely.

These ‘near misses’ occur on the Waikato Awa and Taupō Moana far too often, and the Trust Board has a simple message for all users of Taupō Waters this summer – Kia tūpato, kia ora!

  • Kia tūpato means to be careful!
  • Kia ora means to stay alive!

Being careful means that only strong, fit and experienced swimmers should attempt the river float. An appropriate flotation device, like a lifejacket, should be worn at all times.

Staying alive means you should not do anything to put your life, or the lives of others in danger. It also means that a safety plan and communication considerations should be in place when approaching Taupō Waters.

An excellent way to ensure ones’ safety on Taupō Waters is to abide by the safety warnings in and around our wai.

Furthermore, the Trust Board encourages any whānau, hapū or iwi to reach out to the haukāinga (home dwelling locals) to learn about Taupō Waters before venturing therein or thereon.

We recommend that the general public reach out to a local to learn about the wai of our rohe before entering therein. If anyone reading this statement has any questions about our wai, please contact us.

Nō reira, kia tūpato, kia ora! Be careful and stay alive!

How to be careful and stay alive this summer

  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Have a safety plan
  • Reach out to locals
  • Comply with all safety notices

What is the role of the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board?

The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board is the legal entity which holds the title for Lake Taupō, the Waikato River up to Te Toka a Tia and several of the lake’s tributaries. Collectively these taonga are called “Taupō Waters”. These titles for these taonga are held by the Trust Board on behalf of Ngāti Tūwharetoa iwi.