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Kairakau Water Supply Upgrade

Having ‘Faced the Facts’ as part of the Long-Term Plan 2021 – 2031 and the district-wide impact of under investment in our assets, we are focused on upgrades and renewals to future-proof Central Hawke’s Bay.

What's our current scheme?

Water is pumped from a shallow bore off Kapiti Place, and from a spring off Brodie Place. It is stored in raw water tanks, before it is dosed with chlorine and pumped up to the treated water tanks on the hillside above Kapiti Place. Water is then fed to the town and campground via gravity pipelines. Each property has its own on-site storage tank which is supplied by roof water, as well as water from Council’s water supply scheme. If Council are to continue supplying potable water to the residents of Kairakau, it will need to comply with the Health Act. This requires that the water meets the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ).


What are the issues with the current supply?

  • The current supply does not reliably prevent or address potential contamination by bugs that can cause illness.
  • Council is not able to actively monitor the water supply system to meet DWSNZ requirements.
  • Some existing infrastructure, such as the concrete storage tank and the spring well head, requires upgrading or repairs.
  • The existing raw water tanks are on leased land.
  • The bore and treated water tank sites are not fenced off to prevent access by stock or unauthorised people (a requirement of the DWSNZ).
  • Connections to individual properties are unrestricted which has previously caused reduced service levels during times of high demand.
  • The on-property water tanks store rainwater from the house roofs in addition to the Council water supply.
  • Roof water is subject to contamination from sources such as such as bird droppings, dust, paint, and sea spray.


What are we doing to upgrade the water supply?

What has been happening?
Council appointed Trility LTD to design the new water treatment plant. The team has been working to design and build the plant off-site. Once finished, Trility will deliver and install the treatment plant at the site in Kairakau.

The team at local firm, Topline, have been at the Brodie Place site since late April working to get the area ready for installation. They've cleared the vegetation and stripped the topsoil.

Where are we now?
Trility have almost completed the design for the new plant! The team are now working on sourcing materials for the new plant build - steel, pipework, fittings, filters, instruments and tanks.

Topline continue to work on-site making great ground improvements and ensuring the site is ready for the new treatment plant building.

What's coming up?
The last of the electrical equipment that's needed for the build will arrive in June. Trility will then construct most of the treatment plant at their yard in Tauranga.

Brodie Place: Site works including underground services, relocation of raw water tanks, pipework installation and drainage works will all be happening over the coming months.

Kapiti Place Bore Location: works here will begin in June and will involve installing signage, resurfacing around the bore and shed work.

Bush Hill Reserve: Work at the treated water tanks with Bush Reserve will begin in June and will consist of site clearance, ground improvements, removing the existing concrete tank and replacing the damaged tank. A new tank will be installed along with the connecting pipework.

kairakau image june 2022


We've been exploring options to upgrade the Kairakau drinking water supply and have chosen a preferred option after awarding the contract to Trility LTD to design, supply and install a new water treatment plant in November 2021.
Trility will use local firm, Topline Contracting, to undertake the civil works on this project.

The contractor-design phase of the project is near completion, and will be followed on-site works and off-site work to prefabricate the new water treatment plant.

The team will start on site from 20 April 2022. We expect it to be operational by November 2022.

We are committed to providing durable infrastructure that allows for smart growth, is environmentally responsible and ensures our proud communities can prosper.

Check out the designs and 3D images showing you what the site will look like

Read our latest e-newsletter with all the latest updates. 

In January, the project team met with the community to provide an update on the progress of the project and had a good turn out with over 25 residents coming along to the campground hall to hear about the progress. You can find the presentation from this meeting linked on the right hand side of this page under 'Key Files & Documents'.

Design is well underway and due for completion by March 2022.

The offsite fabrication will take place from April to June 2022 with the new plant to be transported to site in June 2022.

Commissioning expected August 2022, and a fully operational plant by Summer 2022.


Kairakau Water Upgrade Layout



The project is in tender with a number of requests for information received. Indications on supply chains are that there continues to be disruption with businesses on varied working days. The PMO team will be working through this with our contract partners.


CHBDC have been successful in the application to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support water hardness treatment at Kairakau. This provides a further $300,000 towards the Water Upgrade project approved by Council. The tender for this project is expected to be lodged into the market this week.

The Central Hawke's Bay District Council is completing ongoing discussion with the Manawarakau Charitable Trust (MCT) and QEII jointly and developed a coordinated draft drawing for the lease of the MCT parcel. This is also in discussion with all affected landowners for their input. The project team is expecting to bring this back to Council.

Following the Council meeting 25th February, the PMO team are developing a conceptual layout for discussion with the Manawarakau Charitable Trust and QEII in order to negotiate a lease framework. In addition options for treating water hardness is being investigated with the support of WSP consulting. This was discussed further at the Long Term Plan community meeting in Kairakau on the 21st March with an intent to present again to Council early May.  with options for treating water hardness and an updated cost estimate in May 2021. 


After reviewing the community engagement received, Council is working with our project engineers and property team to assess additional options, and potential edits to current proposed options, (please see original options report under Key Files and Documents).

Council aim to release an updated Options report in early 2021.

View a summary of feedback received during the engagement process in the Engagement Summary Report.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Water usage data for the past two years indicates Kairakau uses an average of 24m3/day across the year from Council supply. Usage is usually higher in summer with the average usage from December to February increasing to 34m3/day.
1m3 is the equivalent to 1000 litres. 

Currently water is dosed with Chlorine to disinfect and kill germs. Chlorine is added to the water at a dosing point before it is distributed to the community, however there is no automated system in place. Council actively samples points within the distribution network to confirm chlorine levels and tests for other quality parameters – this could be viewed as lead and lag measurements.

An upgrade is required to ensure Council is providing safe drinking water to the community. In order to do this Council has to comply with Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand. The current supply does not comply, therefore upgrades are required.

This project is an important project as outlined within the wider programme of work and the council’s commitment to building durable infrastructure to ensure smart growth that is environmentally responsible and allows communities to prosper.

A water safety plan documents the risk-based assessment of the current water supply scheme and control measures which should be implemented to enable a safe and secure supply of drinking water to consumers.

The project has been set aside budget of $549,000 in the 2018 Long Term Plan, and Council are planning to deliver the project within the budget set aside.

As the project funding was planned for through the 2018 Long Term Plan process, there is not planned to be a further rating impact because of this project. The funding to deliver this project is currently accounted for in the 2018 Long Term Plan rates forecasts. We expect to draw the loan down for the project in 2021.

The land is currently vested directly to Council as Local Purpose (Recreation) Reserve under the Reserves Act. To locate further water infrastructure on this land will require a planning amendment – although the land is designated under the district plan as water infrastructure.

A restrictor is the flow control device fitted to the service pipe that goes to your supply tank - the restrictor allows water to flow steadily into a tank at a low rate, sharing the available water fairly.

Water will be supplied at Kairakau from Council’s supply only through a connection to an on-site water storage tank at each premise. This supply may be used as an “on demand” supply for “ordinary use”. The water storage tank shall be of minimum volume of 1,800 litres. The supply pipe from the point of supply must be connected to the water tank and include a ball cock or similar device in the tank to prevent overflow of the water in the tank. No connections shall be taken off the supply pipe, and all plumbing on the premises must be feed from the water tank.

The water bylaw can be accessed on Council's website here

November 2020: We expect to compete community engagement

March 2021: Confirm the option and work on design

April 2021: Procure and commence construction. 

December 2021: Expect to have the project completed by the end of 2021. 


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