After over a century of waiting Te Arawa now own all 14 lakes in its tribal district.
It signed its Treaty of Waitangi deal in 2004 and most lake beds returned to the tribe's ownership soon after.
However, Lake Ōkaro didn’t as it was classified as a council reserve.
Today the Crown and council moved to finally rectify that situation.
“It may be 14 years after the settlement, but the right thing to do is return Lake Ōkaro back to its whānau with the other lakes,” Minister for Māori Crown Relations Kelvin Davis said.
The lake will remain open to the public but there will be changes.
Anyone wanting to build or modify structures or apply for commercial activities at Ōkaro will first have to get consent from Te Arawa and the Crown.