Health warning for Lake Ōkaro

18 June 2021

A health warning has been issued for Lake Ōkaro after recent tests confirmed algal bloom activity.

Health warning for Lake Ōkaro

Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health, for Toi Te Ora Public Health said today’s announcement follows a decision last November to place a warning on Lake Rotoehu for the same reason.

“This means people should avoid any contact with water at both lakes,” says Dr Shoemack.

Contact with water affected by blue-green algal blooms can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals. It can also cause skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.

Dr Shoemack says while there have not been any recent reports of people becoming ill from contact with algae, or their toxins from Lake Rotoehu or Ōkaro, it’s important to stay vigilant and out of the water.

“Rotorua Lakes Council will be placing signs at Lake Ōkaro advising potential lake users of the bloom and encouraging people to stay up to date with health warnings for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts.”

Information on health warnings can be found at: