This reserve surrounds the man-made lake constructed by the Matamata County Council in 1974/75. The name Moananui means Big Water.
After an initial environmental assessment in 1969, a proposal for a five hectare lake that would include the Matarawa Stream was put forward to the Tokoroa County Borough of the Matamata County Council. This land was vested as a Recreation Reserve in the then Matamata County Council on 15 February 1973. The successful tender to develop the area was awarded to H Allen Mills & Son Ltd in 1974. Construction of the lake and associated earthworks took the better part of a year and, upon completion, the lake was filled in July 1975.
The development of the lake surrounds began with the construction of car parks and tree planting. Local service clubs became involved with the construction of bridges, pagodas, picnic areas, paths, playground equipment, a paddling pool and retaining walls. The majority of these projects were undertaken using volunteer labour, with Council contributing to the cost of materials in most instances.
In recent years a walkway has been constructed around the lake and the lake itself refurbished. Our Friends of the Lake group are active in maintaining the reserve alongside Council's Parks and Reserves team.
In 2014 a new playground was installed with modern and safe playground equipment for young children to enjoy.
In 2015 a series of exercise stations were established around the lake which were received very positively by tthe community and are used extensively.
Dogs are permitted on leash in this reserve and there is an off leash exercise area on the west side of the lake. Dogs are prohibited from the playground area and exercise stations.