Arapuni Dam

Arapuni Road, Arapuni

  • Arapuni Dam. Image courtesy of Mighty River Power.
    Copyright: Mighty River Power. Taken By: Unknown.
  • Arapuni Dam.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: K Pfeiffer. Date: 27/06/2010.
  • Arapuni Dam. Image courtesy of Mighty River Power.
    Copyright: Mighty River Power. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 4154 Date Entered 22nd August 1991 Date of Effect 22nd August 1991


City/District Council

South Waikato District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Arapuni Hydro Dam


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Kissel, Frederick Templeton Manheim

The preliminary and final design of the Arapuni power development is attributed to Frederick Kissel (1881-1962). Born in Templeton, New Zealand, Kissel began his engineering career with the Public Works Department having graduated from Canterbury University College in 1905. In 1911 he was engineer-in-charge of the first installation at Lake Coleridge and in 1922 was sent abroad to gain experience in the latest practices in hydro-electric engineering. Shortly after his return to New Zealand he was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer to the Public Works Department and upon the formation of the State Hydro-electric Department in 1945 was made its first General Manager.

Kissel specialised in the development of water power, and from the small beginning in state enterprise at Lake Coleridge, he guided the expansion of the electric generation system throughout New Zealand. After his retirement in 1948 he continued in engineering and for several years was a director of William Cable Holdings. In 1932 Kissel served as President of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers.

The contracts for the construction of the Arapuni dam, headrace, weir and power house was let to the British firm of Sir W G Armstrong, Whitworth and Co. The company's traditional field of expertise was ordinance and mechanical engineering, but following World War Two it diversified into civil engineering on a world wide scale. In New Zealand it had also constructed the Waihi-Tauranga section of the East Coast railway. The company experienced difficulties with the dam contract, and they received a release from the power house contract. This work was completed by the Public Works Department, under the control of F W Furkert, engineer-in-chief, who later was in charge of remedial work at the site.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1929 -

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.