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Waitakere River facts for kids

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Waitakere River
Country New Zealand
Physical characteristics
River mouth Tasman Sea
Length 16 km (10 mi)

The Waitakere River is a river of the Auckland Region of New Zealand's North Island. It flows north then west from its sources in the Waitākere Ranges, reaching the Tasman Sea at Te Henga (Bethells Beach), to the south of Muriwai Beach. The upper reaches of the river are dammed to form the Waitākere Reservoir. The Waitakere Falls, just below the dam, are 95 metres (312 ft) high and the third highest waterfall in the North Island.

The river was a central point for Te Kawerau ā Maki Māori, who originally called the lower section of the river Te Awa Kōtuku, or the White heron's Plume River, and the upper section Waikirikiri. Many kāinga were located along the river, such as Ōhutukawa near Lake Waimanu, Motu, Ōkaihau, Raumati, Pihāriki, Parawai, and Waitī.

The Waitakere Dam was first constructed in 1910. During the 1920s, the areas close to the river were milled for kauri timber. In 1927, the height of the Waitakere Dam was increased, which increased the size of the Waitakere Reservoir and flooded the original site of Waitī.

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