Kōrero: Conservation – a history

Ōrākei Kōrako

Ōrākei Kōrako

When John Backhouse painted this view of Ōrākei Kōrako about 1880, there was a broad light-coloured area of geothermal activity a few metres above the Waikato River (Papa Kōwhatu). The large boiling spring in the foreground, Mimi-a-Homaiterangi, erupted irregularly as a geyser.

In 1961 a dam was built downstream to generate electricity. The level of the river was raised to form Lake Ōhakuri, and the area shown in the painting is now covered by over 15 metres of water. The remaining geothermal area at Ōrākei Korako today is only a small remnant of the original thermal activity.

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-053-005
Oil painting by John Philemon Backhouse

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Simon Nathan, 'Conservation – a history - Rivers, landforms and geysers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/artwork/14057/orakei-korako (accessed 24 January 2022)

He kōrero nā Simon Nathan, i tāngia i te 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Aug 2015