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Changes to the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Water Supply and Stormwater Bylaws puts water conservation at the forefront

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On 13 May 2021, Council made the decision to formally adopt with immediate effect, the Proposed Three Water Bylaws, including the updated Water Supply and Stormwater Bylaws which will impact those building new properties in the District. 

The impact of these Bylaws is wide reaching – they ensure that step by step, Council make positive changes which lead to smart growth, while being environmentally sustainable. The new Bylaws deliver on an integrated approach to Three Waters management in the District, reflect the principles of the Te Mana o Te Wai and ensure Council’s approach compliments and reflects feedback received from the community. They also align with Council’s 2021-2024 Sustainable Water Management Plan, which identifies how Council and the Community will improve water-use efficiency and reduce water loss. 

The adopted Water Supply Bylaw has new requirements for a rainwater (retention) tank of minimum volume 3,000L for all new residential builds in urban areas. Rural areas, or places considered to be ‘outside of the area’ from potable water supplies continue to require a storage tank with minimum volume of 30,000L. 

Rainwater tanks will provide relief to the potable water network in times of peak demand and allow people to continue watering their gardens when and if water restrictions are imposed. In addition, there is also a benefit from the retention of rainwater, reducing the amount of water entering the stormwater network during rainfall events. 

The Stormwater Bylaw requires the determination of stormwater detention volumes, over and above any requirement of storage from the Water Supply Bylaw. Minimum stormwater detention volumes are calculated using an online tool based on the proposed level or area of development on the site. 

These changes have come into place after widespread community and sector engagement during March 2021. On 13 April 2021 Council held hearings on the submissions received, and on 13 May 2021 Council deliberated on those submissions before confirming the new Three Waters Bylaws 2021, with immediate effect. 

Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker says, “Water is incredibly important in our district. Our community has told us that they would like more measures in place to ensure water is captured and managed effectively. These updated bylaws ensure that our approach to water is environmentally focused, support our infrastructure and above all is practical.” 

Council formally adopted the new Three Water Bylaws on 13 May 2021. 

To view the new Bylaws, visit our website:  

Notes to the editor: 

  • In addition to stormwater storage, stormwater treatment may be required to remove contaminants. 
  • From 13 May 2021, all rainwater tanks should be installed in accordance with Section of NZS 4404, the District Plan, Council’s Bylaws and the Building Code.   
  • Any new tank is to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and at the landowner’s expense. 


Media contact 
Monique Davidson, Chief Executive | T 06 857 8060, M 027 422 9977 
Lucy Pearce | Project Communications and Engagement Lead | M 027 247 3928

25 May 2021

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