Environmental mitigation at Tongariro

Genesis Energy has ongoing mitigation responsibilities in relation to the consented activities at the Tongariro Power Scheme.

Genesis Energy's Environmental Management Framework details the companies approach to environmental management including mitigation.

The current environmental mitigation projects at the Tongariro Power Scheme are:

Central North Island Blue Duck Trust

Blue Duck Trust - Genesis Energy NZ

In the early 1990s, ECNZ (Genesis Energy's predecessor) began work to renew its resource consents for the Tongariro Power Scheme (TPS). This initiated a lengthy process of consultation with many parties, including the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society (Forest and Bird). DOC and Forest and Bird were concerned primarily with the effects of the TPS on the environment and especially the impact of the TPS on the blue duck and their habitat, and on the natural character of rivers and streams. Whio are regarded as an indicator of healthy stream ecology.

DOC, Forest and Bird and Genesis Energy agreed to a mitigation package that included the release of minimum flows below the Mangatepopo and Whanganui intakes on the Western Diversion of the TPS and the establishment of the Central North Island Blue Duck Charitable Trust. The Trust provides for ongoing initiatives to enhance, protect and promote Whio populations, habitat and natural character. The Trust was launched on 16th August 2002.

For more information on the Trust, funding and Annual Reports go to the Whio Forever website.

Whanganui River Enhancement Trust

Whanganui River Enhancement - Genesis Energy NZ

The Whanganui River has great intrinsic, cultural and recreational value. However, over the last century the water quality and appearance of the river has degraded, mainly due to increased sediment load from farmland, land which was previously bush. The catchment is steep and unstable and heavy rainfall often triggers slips.

Flow in the Whanganui River is also reduced by water extraction by the Tongariro Power Scheme which diverts flow from head-water rivers for electricity generation.

As part of the process to renew the resource consents for Tongariro Power Scheme (TPS), new minimum flows were implemented and the Wanganui District Council (WDC), Genesis Energy and the Ruapehu District Council (RDC) entered into a formal agreement on 31 May 2002 to establish a Trust to provide resources to mitigate effects of the ongoing operation of the TPS.

The Whanganui River Enhancement Charitable Trust was established in 2003 and the six current Trustees are Cr Warren Furner (Chairman) and Cynthia Dowsett from RDC; Cr Sue Westwood and Julian Harkness from WDC; while Cam Speedy and Dave Pellowe represent Genesis Energy.


The Trust's purpose is to promote and encourage the enhancement of the quality of the waters and catchments of the Whanganui River.

The key objectives to which funds are allocated are:

  1. Water quality enhancement
  2. River enhancement projects (social, economic and environmental)
  3. Public education
  4. Student scholarships

Current projects

The Trust is working with Horizons Regional Council on a water quality enhancement project focused on priority catchments of the Whanganui River. The proposal aims to help farmers manage erosion by preparing and implementing farm plans in the Waikaka and Ohura catchments and commenced in 2005.

The Trust is also working with the Catalyst Group on a project to improve water quality in the Piopiotea and Kakahi Stream catchments in the upper-Whanganui.

The Trust provides annual funding for social, economic and environmental enhancement projects in the Whanganui Catchment. To date, the Trust has provided funds to river enhancement projects for activities such as riparian fencing and planting, the Pipiriki boat ramp repairs, the Upokongaro jetty construction and the Wanganui Waterfront Project.

The Trust also provides student scholarships.

2017 Applications for Funding Assistance

Applications for 2017 funding assistance close on Monday 14th August 2017.

Whanganui River Enhancement Trust 2017 Application Form

For more information on the Trust please contact the Trust Secretary, Janet Hargreaves:
C/o Tokaanu Power Station
Private Bag 36
(07) 384 7247
[email protected]

Hillary Outdoors Kayak Education Fund

Outdoor Pursuits - Genesis Energy NZ

In July 2002, Hillary Outdoors (formerly OPC) and Genesis Energy agreed on a mitigation package to offset the adverse effects of the Tongariro Power Scheme on recreational amenity values.

As part of the package a fund was formed to assist Hillary Outdoors to provide kayak education to young New Zealanders. The fund is managed by a joint Genesis Energy and the Hillary Outdoors committee, operating under the umbrella of the Hillary Outdoors Charitable Trust. The aim is to encourage young people into the sport of kayaking in the central North Island though high-quality instruction.


The Objectives of the Kayak Education Fund is to provide kayak education for young New Zealanders by:

  • Providing sponsorship opportunities for financially disadvantaged students to attend kayak courses at Hillary Outdoors;
  • Purchasing a library of contemporary books, videos and resources for the development of students on courses at Hillary Outdoors;
  • Employing world class kayakers to run workshops on advanced techniques to raise the level of recreational kayaking and kayaking instruction in New Zealand; and
  • Providing funding for kayak instructors to travel to other organisations/areas to enhance their skills and utilise these in New Zealand.

For more information about upcoming courses and scholarships please contact:

Hillary Outdoors Education Centre
Private Bag 37
Turangi 3353
Phone 0800 OUT THERE (688 843)
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.hillaryoutdoors.co.nz

View Tongariro Environmental Initiatives

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