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Kairakau Water Supply Upgrade

The Kairakau water supply was signaled as a key project leading into the 2018 Long Term Plan, – Together we Thrive – as part of the #bigwaterstory.

Council is committed to providing durable infrastructure, that allows for smart growth, is environmentally responsible and ensures our proud communities are able to prosper. With this in mind, the Kairakau water supply project has been expedited due to failures over the Christmas 2019/20 season. This project is a key enabler of our THRIVE objectives while meeting future regulatory requirements and community demands on infrastructure.

Kairakau Water Supply Update:

Our current Long Term Plan identifies a project to upgrade and future proof Kairakau’s water supply. This is a key project as part of #thebigwaterstory capital programme. 

The current water supply 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).

Issues with 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.

 Location of key Kairakau water supply elements:

Location of key Kairakau water supply elements


Following a Council meeting in June 2021, the project team have been working with our technical consultant WSP in order to develop the initiative for tendering into the market late July. Please see updates and the latest set of technical drawings below.

Spring Location - Brodie Place:

Drawing 1

a. Lease discussions with the Manawarakau Charitable Trust (MCT) are still in process with legal counsel however, all parties continue to support the intent of expanding this location for the treatment plant upgrade.

b. Drinking Water Standards New Zealand compliance requirements include erecting of a chain fence to secure the spring. The MCT support the fencing of this area to keep the community safe and help with their ongoing maintenance and care of the site. 

c. The project is being tendered as a ‘design and build’, meaning we intend bringing a contractor to support this under performance requirements. Once the contractor is awarded, further design development will take place and include consultation with landowners directly affected with the capital work.

d. Planting of the project will be sought as a separate project from the principal contractor, using locally sourced natives and be performed in accordance with a planting guide from QEII. We are interested to hear from landowners who would like to support this planting initiative.

e. Council approved installation of water hardness treatment. The design includes 2 tanks to hold the waste from this process as an interim measure, which will be moved by tanker to Waipawa for disposal. Council are investigating options for locally discharging this waste. This project will be separate to the July tender.

Bore Location – Kapiti Place Reserve Land:


a. Drinking Water Standards New Zealand compliance location include erecting of a chain fence to secure the bore.

b. This fencing may require removal of some of the adjacent vegetation We have tried to keep this to a minimum, this will be refined further when a contractor is on board.

c. We are unable to plant in front of the access gate on the Kapiti Reserve due to the need for operational access to the bore. Intent would be to plant to the right of the gate, guided by QEII.

Treated Water Tanks - Bush Reserve Hill:


a) Intent is to consolidate all treated water tanks up the hill under one compound, including replacement of the existing concrete tank servicing the campground.

b) Fencing of this compound will be softened with planting guided by QEII.


Project Updates:

Images of current sites:

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.


After consultation with QEII and nearby landowners, an updated layout has been provided by Council's engineering consultants WSP. This is still a draft layout and some further changes may still be required. 

In addition Council will seek to develop a planting plan with QEII, Manawarakau Charitable Trust (MCT) and adjacent landowners.

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 with options for treating water hardness and an updated cost estimate in May 2021. 


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. 

The Central Hawke's Bay will be hosting a Long Term Plan Community Meeting at Kairakau on March 21st

Along with discussing the Long Term Plan for the Central Hawke's Bay District, the meeting will touch on updates for the Kairakau Water Supply Upgrade. 

 002799 FBEvent Kairaku

Council will be hosting a community meeting in Kairakau on Sunday, December 6 at 9.30 AM.



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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