The name Otanewainuku means “the many waters that spring forth from the domain of Tane - overseer of the forest." Another definition is "the mountain of the parting waters, where the clouds meet the land, and the rain leaves the sky."
Headwater of many local streams
The mountain is the headwater of many streams that initially flow in all directions.
Those to the south and east mostly go underground within a short distance of the base of the mountain, and flow to the Mangatoi Stream, into the Waiari Stream, then the Kaituna River, ending at Maketu Estuary.
The Whataroa Stream, which provides our beautiful waterfall off the Rimu loop Track flows into the Raparapahoe Stream, and then the Kaituna River.
Those to the North and West flow to Te Awanui (Tauranga Harbour) and stay mostly on the surface as the Tautau and Waimapu Streams. The Tautau feeds the treatment plant and large reservoirs in Oropi which supply Tauranga’s water.