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 Mangatohe Stream,Te Reranga, Koakoanui and Mangatoi Streams, into the Waiari Stream, then the Kaituna River, ending at Maketu Estuary and eventually the Pacific Ocean at Maketu.
To the North is the Whataroa Stream, which provides our beautiful waterfall off the Rimu loop Track flows into the Raparapahoe Stream, and then the Kaituna River and the Pacific Ocean at Maketu.
Those to the West flow to Te Awanui (Tauranga Harbour) and stay mostly on the surface as the Tautau and Waiarohe Streams. Both streams feed the large reservoirs in Oropi and Pyes Pa which supply Tauranga’s water.