Ōpunakē Lake has two purposes, to produce electricity for the national grid and to provide a recreational sport for boating, water skiing, trout fishing, for walkers or just feed the ducks. In the summertime the lake is as busy as the nearby Ōpunakē Beach and every weekend the sound of pleasure craft zooming around the lake can always be heard. The history of the lake goes back to the early 1900's, when it was first muted that electricity would be a necessity for the growing town and surrounding districts. A chunk of land beside the Waiaua river, which formed a natural basin, was considered suitable to store water from the river for the purpose of making electricity. This area once was the vegetable garden for the Armed Constabulary.