Arapuni is a rural town centre on the Waikato river in the South Waikato District of New Zealand. The population on census night 2006 was 2,145 usual residents, slightly down from 2,163 in 2001 and 2,211 in 1996. The town sits next to a hydroelectric dam at Lake Arapuni, one of six in the South Waikato District on the Waikato river. It has the spectacular Arapuni Suspension Bridge below the dam freely open to public. The English translation of Arapuni is 'Ara' = path and 'puni' is blocked or covered - Arapuni = blocked or covered path.
The Arapuni Dam was first commissioned in 1929. The Arapuni Power Station consists of eight turbines which give a total output of 196 MW, the largest of the power stations on the Waikato river. The Arapuni hydro station is owned and operated by Mercury Energy.
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