skip to main content

Waipukurau residents urged to conserve water following critical mains break

Ben and Alex 1

Following a major break on Central Hawkes Bay’s drinking water network in Waipukurau this morning, emergency Level 4 water restrictions are expected to remain in place until at least late this evening.

The major mains break on Porangahau Road caused the Pukeora reservoir, that provides drinking water to Waipukurau residents, to reach critically low levels of only 25% of its normal capacity early this morning. At anytime given time the reservoir is normally 70-90% full.

Following rapid water losses in the Pukeora Reservoir, staff, contractors and community moved into action to identify and isolate the cause of the water loss, with the leak able to be isolated at around 7am.

Level 4 water restrictions were immediately put in place and the community was notified at around 6.30am this morning to prevent the complete loss of water supply to all of Waipukurau - some 4,000 residents. Waipukurau residents are advised that there will be enough water for everyone, as long as residents continue to conserve water.

"Due to the conservation efforts of our community the reservoir has risen back to 35 percent as at 11am, about halfway to where it needs to be for water restrictions to be eased”, says Chief Executive Doug Tate.

“I want to give a special thanks to community and businesses for their ongoing support conserving water as reservoir levels recover”.

Council is urging residents to continue to conserve water and expects Waipukurau residents to remain at Level 4 water restrictions, until late this evening when reservoir levels are expected to recover.

The cause of the water loss was a major mains break on Porangahau Road, which is used for firefighting purposes only.

There are no residents connected to the broken main, with Council replacing this main for residents in 2023 as part of its proactive water renewals programme through #thebigwaterstory. A final cross connection which will allow the old main to be decommissioned is planned for late 2024. This crossover will require a major water shutdown for residents of Waipukurau.

A further project that will add resilience to the Council’s water network in Waipukurau commenced in 2019, being the Waipukurau Second Supply project. This project along with other key water and wastewater projects has recently faced delays due to affordability constraints and uncertainty around Three Waters reform timing. These challenges have been further exacerbated for Central Hawke's Bay following the millions of dollars of damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle across its networks.

"Emergency events like this continue to highlight why investment across our three waters assets is so critical - but for a small community like Central Hawke’s Bay, we simply can’t afford to deliver that investment at the rate required alone", says Mayor Alex Walker.

“The Hawke’s Bay Waters model, supported by Central Government is critical for us in Central Hawke’s Bay. We have to continue to work together with pace to make the investment in our assets as it is desperately needed”.

Residents are advised to follow Council’s Facebook page, website and to listen to Central FM for the latest updates.


Photo: Mayor Alex Walker on the site of the water main break on Porangahau Road in Waipukurau this morning, with Council staff.

Back to Archive


Central Hawke's Bay District Council - Copyright © 2024 Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Central Hawke's Bay District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Central Hawke's Bay District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Central Hawke's Bay District Council - / +64 6 857 8060 /