A woman contemplates the Rainbow Rapids at Ātiamuri, on the Waikato River, in the 1940s. When the Ōhakuri Dam was filled in 1960, the rapids were flooded, along with geysers, hot pools and silica terraces. Writer Elsie Locke, in her 1960 story ‘Place of adorning’, mourned the imminent flooding of the river between Ātiamuri and Ōrākei Kōrako. The loss of such beautiful stretches of water to hydroelectricity projects eventually prompted canoeists to join with conservationists, Māori and local people in campaigns to save New Zealand’s wild rivers.
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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.