A long-term agreement has been signed between Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and Mighty River Power in respect to the storage of water in Lake Taupō.

Lake Taupo is the primary source of Mighty River Power’s Waikato hydro storage and allows the Company to optimise performance of the hydro scheme, which accounts for around 10% of New Zealand’s total electricity supply.

The hydro storage also benefits downstream users of water, including Hamilton and Auckland drinking water.

Mighty River Power Chief Executive, Fraser Whineray, said the agreement reflects the strong working relationship the Company enjoys with Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.

"The Waikato is New Zealand’s most important water catchment, providing tremendous economic and societal benefits which we can grow for this country. Through this agreement we have both committed to working together into the future, and we look forward to those opportunities."

Chairman of the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, John Bishara, said the agreement would be beneficial to all involved.

"This positive outcome reflects the mana Tuwharetoa holds as owners of the Lake Taupo lakebed and we look forward to working further with Mighty River Power. As far as the recreational and other lake users are concerned nothing changes." he said.

Mr Whineray said Mighty River Power acknowledged Tuwharetoa as owners of the lakebed and their role as responsible stewards and business leaders in the community.

"We appreciate that Lake Taupo is very important to Tuwharetoa and we are pleased to have been able to reach this partnership agreement, which strengthens our relationship," he said.

Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Chief Executive, Topia Rameka said the Trust outlined the agreement at its Annual General Meeting over the weekend and it was universally supported.

"We have a strong working relationship with Mighty River Power and we look forward to exploring further potential operations. We’ve built successful ventures before and this is an exciting opportunity," he said.

The agreement is for a period of 52 years and provides an enduring set of arrangements in relation to the operation of the Lake.