Construction on a hydroelectric dam began in 1959. The power station was commissioned in 1967. Te Mahoe village, still in existence, was built for dam construction workers. The dam was in a geologically unsound location – between 1967 and 1987 it shifted downstream almost 1 metre and moved another 150 mm after the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake (magnitude 6.3). The dam was later strengthened. There were extensive consultations with the Ngāti Awa tribe, who were prominent in the completion ceremony in August 1998.
The largest earth dam in the North Island, situated on the Rangitaiki River. Construction was approved in 1959 with the scheme finally commissioned in 1967. After sustaining damage in an earthquake of Richter scale magnitude 6.3 in 1987, the scheme was decommissioned for seven months in 1988 to allow repairs including substantial strengthening of the dam to reduce it's hazard rating. This work occurred during 1997-98, immediately prior to the TrustPower purchase of the scheme. With a 61 metre head of water behind an 86 meter high dam, the Matahina station has two 36,000 kW generators producing an average annual output of 300 GWh.