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Waipukurau & Waipawa Second Drinking Water SupplyTukunga wai inu tuarua o Waipukurau

Waipukurau Second Drinking Water Supply

We are facing the facts!

The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s current long-term plan identifies a project to provide resilience, increase capacity, support growth and ultimately future proof Waipukurau’s drinking water network by adding a second supply.  

It's imperative that we build resilience in our water supply to ensure everyone in Central Hawke's Bay has access to safe drinking water, now and in the future.

We have been working with engineers to develop the best option to add resilience to the network. Following a recent funding injection through the 3 waters reform, Council has the ability to increase the project budget to allow us to approach this with a generational lens.  

What are the issues with the current supply? 

  • A lack of strategic storage. 
  • Risks to security of supply if there are issues with the existing source, reservoir or trunk main. 
  • Constraints to servicing planned future growth and infill. 
  • Areas of insufficient fire flow.
Waipawa Water Treatment Plant and Borefield Upgrade
Waipawa to Central Reservoir Pipeline
Waipawa River Crossing
Tukituki River Crossing
Central Reservoir
Reservoir Access Track and Platfom
Central Reservoir to Waipukurau Pipeline

Update | December 2023

Work to establish a second drinking water supply for Waipukurau, Waipawa and Otāne is temporarily on hold while Council works through its new three-year plan.

Reservoir Access Track and Platform

After many months of hard work, the 1.1-kilometre-long access track to Waipukurau’s new central reservoir and platform is now complete. Contractor Fulton Hogan has disestablished from site, leaving the 2,600 m2 platform ready and able to house two 3 ML reservoirs in the future, supplying water by gravity to Waipukurau and Waipawa should the need arise.

20231006 C1242 Access Track 22

Update | May 2023

After a challenging few months for Central Hawke’s Bay following the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, work to establish a second drinking water supply for Waipukurau, Waipawa and Otāne remains on track for completion in the second half of 2024.

Reservoir Access Track and Platform

The Fulton Hogan team have recommenced work on the Central Reservoir Platform and Access Track after all projects were put on hold as we responded to Cyclone Gabrielle. Wth 80% of the earthworks now complete, the team remains on track to complete the access track and platform by the middle of July 2023.

WPK May 2023 update 2


WPK2 May 2023 update 3Rising/Falling Mains to Central Reservoir

Higgins has been awarded the contract for the two pipelines and work on these will begin in July. This will see pipelines installed from the new reservoir location down to Lindsay Road - known as the falling gravity main, which will feed water to Waipukurau from the Central Reservoir - and from Ongaonga Road to the new reservoir location, known as the rising main, which will pump treated water from the borefield at Tikokino Road. The river crossings will complete these connections (referred to below).

The rising main along Tikokino Road installed last year by Russell Roads will replace the aged AC main that runs on Tikokino Road. This will tie into both the Waipawa water supply once the final bridge crossing is complete, and the rising main feeding the reservoir from the borefield when the river crossing is complete.

River Crossings

Geotechnical work on the river crossings is now complete and our technical team is analysing this information while continuing to engage with tangata whenua prior to making a recommendation as to the suitability and feasibility of crossing the rivers.

Central Reservoir

The project team is working with our head contractor to confirm which company will supply and install the new central reservoir. 

Water Treatment Plant and Borefield

The project team is investigating the options for how best to build a treatment plant that serves the existing Waipawa and Ōtāne communities but also the Central Reservoir and Waipukurau.

Update | 10 August 2022

In May 2022, Council granted approval for the project to proceed towards establishing a new centralised storage reservoir between Waipukurau and Waipawa, building a pipeline to connect the two water supplies and upgrading the existing borefield and treatment plant in Waipawa.

Once complete, the project will hold up to 36 hours' worth of water storage, therefore providing a back-up supply of water to each town if, for example, the main supply is severely impacted by an emergency event.

To make use of a funding injection from Central Government in late 2020 through the 3 Waters Tranche One Stimulus funds, some preliminary work on this project has already progressed. This has, however, been done on the basis it won’t be on assets that may be redundant regardless of a future council decision.

These early projects involve upgrades to the existing Waipawa borefield, and the upsizing of the existing water main on Tikokino Road. 

Council will now move to finalise design and outstanding landowner agreements and prepare for construction. This is expected to start in November 2022, when the access track and reservoir platform are built. The full project is anticipated to reach completion by June 2024.

Read our full report on the Waipukurau Second Water Supply – Project Decision here.

Update | 16 May 2022

This Thursday 19th May, officers will be presenting a significant paper to decide on the option to move to the construction stage for this important project - the water supplies of Waipawa and Waipukurau. The recommended option looks to link the supplies of the two towns, by pipeline and a new central reservoir. This $15m project will be transformational for supporting the resilience of our supplies, while catering for the unprecedented growth we are experiencing.

WPA to WPK Water Supply

Update | 24 January 2022

  • The investigation across the pipeline route - using test pits and geotechnical drilling at the proposed reservoir location - has been completed.
  • Tikokino road (Road stage 1 Upgrade) is now complete.
  • Tikokino Road to Abbotsford Road (Stage 2 and 3) is now underway.

Design development is ongoing with a current focus on the main to the central reservoir.

The central reservoir and falling main from the reservior to Waipukurau, plus the continued construction of the Tikokino rising main (Stages 1-5) is planned for completion May 2022.

Update | 30 August 2021

During Lockdown the team have been busy ensuring construction sites are secure and safe, gathering in Contractors protocols for operating at L3, and preparing contractors to re-mobilise as levels allow. Tenders in progress have continued with requests for information from bidding contractors being responded to including any reasonable extensions of time due to the impact of the lockdown. The second supply team will be reviewing timing of any survey work required to support the Abbotsford Rd rising main and a land survey for the river crossing over the coming weeks.

 WPK 2nd Supply Equipment

Update | 8 June 2021

Last week, geotechnical investigations were performed at the proposed reservoir location. Results will be available in the next couple of weeks and will help determine the final reservoir location between Waipukurau and Waipawa. 

2nd Supply

Update | 10 May 2021

Procurement of the due diligence contractor has been completed with works expected to commence on the 17th May.

The Central Hawke's Bay District Council is engaging Downer to renew stage 1 pipework from the current Waipawa Bore to Tikokino road gate marking the 1st significant capital work on the second supply pipeline project.


Update | 20 November 2020

After Council's preliminary investigations, we believe that connecting Waipukurau’s water supply with Waipawa’s adds greater source resilience and opportunities to unlock future growth potential for both these towns. 

The scope of the project now involves two pipelines connecting to a reservoir at a mid-point, sourced from Waipawa, supplying Waipukurau initially, with the option to return supply Waipawa in years to come. If the upgraded Waipawa source can fully supply Waipukurau, then the existing critical mains and reservoirs would become less critical and replacement of these could be deferred until their condition or performance requires it. It is possible that this option could also be configured to enable water from Waipukurau’s SH2 borefield to supply Waipawa in an emergency. 

The project will include additional boresextending the existing treatment plant, a new pumping station and an access track to access the reservoir.  

The pipeline from Waipawa to Waipukurau would be placed in a trench below ground, allowing for continued land use. Council have not yet decided on a final pathway for the pipeline, but have identified three possible routes.

3 C2089.01 Waipukarau Pipeline Route and Reservoir Options REV A G4 page 0001

The Blue route has been shortlisted based on initial work, for the following reasons: 
  • Lower costs – both initial capital and ongoing operating costs.  
  • Better functionality, with the opportunity to also duplicate or replace Waipawa Main.  
  • This route is the most direct connection between the two towns.  
  • Proposed reservoir site reaches the ideal elevation of 220m.  
  • The terrain of this route looks to be easiest for construction. 
  • Moderate pipeline length of 8.8km.  
Some potential issues include:  
  • The route crosses one known fault line.  
  • The pipeline will need to cross two rivers.  
  • Potentially steep and 1.5km long access track to the proposed reservoir location.  

If the Blue route becomes the best practical solution, Council will begin formal engagement with landowners, Iwi, community members and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council before Council decides on the best option to move into the design and execution phase.  

Update | 18 June 2020

A further update was presented to the Finance and Infrastructure Committee today - requesting that some work that is mutual between the two preferred options continue. Particularly the design to replace the rising main that runs from the current borefield to the reservoir, and also structural assessments of the two Waipukurau reservoirs.

This will ensure no time delays are seen on these items considered critical to both options once funding is announced.

Update | 23 April 2020

presentation on options to take forward was presented to Council at the Finance and Infrastructure Committee - presenting two potential options that could be progressed, funding dependant.

While we wait for information on our funding application, work will continue on supporting projects like the SH2 Borefield Upgrade and the Waipukurau Firefighting improvements.

Update | 16 April 2020

During lockdown, Council prepared an application to the Crown Infrastructure Partners to support this project and ensuring CHBDC is able to deliver the best solution that aligns to our THRIVE values.

You can read more on that application on the HB 3 Waters Review Website:

Update | 9 December 2019

Following a robust tender process, council is currently working with a preferred supplier to negotiate a contract, and expect to have this in place by the end of 2019, ready to undertake a strategic assessment of this project in early 2020.

Update | 7 October 2019

Due to some additional information provided to tenders, Council has extended the closing date on this tender opportunity to 18 October 2019.

Update | 17 September 2019

We have released the design portion of this project out to tender, this closes to all prospective suppliers on Friday 27th September 2019.

We expect to have evaluated and awarded a contract to a design partner in October 2019.

Update | 23 August 2019

5 potential locations have been shortlisted as potential water bore sources, and are currently being evaluated.

Council is also in the process of procuring the services of a partner to see this project through to build, and will be working through this tender process over the next 4-6 weeks.

MCA Overview


Update | 25 July 2019

Council has narrowed down a long list of potential water source locations for this project to five that are currently being assessed against a set of criteria to identify the best location to progress for investigation.

We expect this work to be completed in August 2019 - where can progress to planning the investigatory drilling for water.

Potential Water Sources WPK 2nd Supply July 2019


Update | 21 June 2019

Council is currently working through the options for the proposed water source, this involves assessing shallow groundwater sources and deep water sources to evaluate where to progress with the water source for the Second Supply project.

From this work, Council and our technical advisers will identify exploratory options and assess them against our multi criteria to understand where we should drill next. The criteria identifies items like reservoir placement, pipeline routes, proposed water quality, capital and operational costs, and resilience to assess the proposed options against.

This process is undertaken to ensure council makes the best informed decision when investigating the water source for the Second Supply for Waipukurau.

Geological map of WPK area

 Update | 5 April 2019

Unfortunately following three exploratory test bores, Council has not been able to yet secure sufficient quantities of water to progress to production bores. 

Council continues to work on investigating surrounding bores, river channels and other relevant information to refine where the next location to investigate and drill may be. 

Now vs 1943


Update | 18 January 2019

Council commenced exploratory work week starting 7 January 2019 to identify a water source for the second supply. Testing will take place until council can confirm water quality and flow requirements meet those required to progress the project. 


IMG 20190109 110349


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