Treated Water Supply Bylaw

Midnight, Monday 31 May 2021

Water conservation hand on tap

The Council proposes to make a new bylaw to regulate the supply of treated water from its eight water supply schemes.

The existing water supply bylaw will be revoked on 16 October 2021 under section 160A of the Local Government Act 2002 because it was not reviewed by the date required in that Act. A new bylaw is needed to fairly and efficiently manage the supply of treated water from the Council’s water supply schemes.

Read Treated Water Supply Bylaw proposal(PDF, 547KB)

Make a submission online

Answer to common questions

Treated water is water that meets the standards for drinking water. The standards are set by central government and administered by the Ministry of Health.  

There are four main ways that treated water is supplied:

  1. From public water lines (or pipes) to peoples’ properties
  2. By bulk tanker e.g. to top up a rainwater tank
  3. Through fire hydrants to extinguish fires
  4. Through standpipes on hydrants e.g. for commercial operators to gain access to bulk water.

The water supply schemes are in: Kerikeri/Waipapa, Paihia/Opua/Waitangi, Kawakawa/Moerewa, Kaikohe/Ngawha, Ōkaihau, Kaitāia, Rawene/Omanaia and Opononi/Ōmāpere.You can discover more about Council water supplies here.

The bylaw will cover:

  • defining the point of supply of treated water to customers – this is a critical location that determines where the Council’s responsibilities end
  • the terms of supply for the different ways that water is supplied – this is to ensure all customers are subject to the same rules and conditions for the supply and use of the water
  • planned and unplanned interruptions (or stoppages) to the supply that may be made by the Council e.g. for maintenance purposes or in an emergency
  • the terms of use of water meters – this is to ensure customers pay a fair and accurate amount for the water they use
  • powers of the Council to restrict or prohibit water supply e.g. in a drought or when a drought appears likely – these are important to ensure the efficient and fair use of water in times when the supply may be reduced
  • how work on the water supply system can occur such as connections, disconnections and repairs
  • how to apply to connect to the treated water supply
  • types of approvals that are needed to do things that affect the water supply (e.g. applying for an exemption from a water restriction)
  • peoples’ right to object to a Council water supply decision
  • how the water supply system must be protected from contamination and damage – some of these things are already covered in other legislation too, such as the Resource Management Act 1991 - Resource Management Act 1991 No 69 (as at 13 April 2021), Public Act Water – New Zealand Legislation and the Health Act 1956 - Health Act 1956 No 65 (as at 09 April 2021), Public Act Duties of drinking-water suppliers and temporary drinking-water suppliers – New Zealand Legislation
  • when the Council may access a property to read a meter, inspect, test or maintain the water supply system

Main differences include:

  • simpler definition of the types of treated water supply
  • a new clause about work done around the Council’s water supply pipes (e.g. building work or excavations)
  • more detail about how to make applications to the Council, the criteria for approval and the conditions the Council may put on an approval
  • an explanation of peoples’ right to object to the Council’s water supply decisions 
  • removal of provisions covering protection of water catchment areas (because it is covered by national legislation)
  • simpler language in line with modern legal drafting principles and some terminology has been updated e.g. permits are now called approvals
  • less reference to technical details of the treated water supply – where relevant, cross reference is provided to the Council’s engineering standards where these technical details are set out.

The bylaw only applies to the eight water schemes managed by the Council in: Kerikeri/Waipapa, Paihia/Opua/Waitangi, Kawakawa/Moerewa, Kaikohe/Ngawha, Ōkaihau, Kaitāia, Rawene/Omanaia and Opononi/Ōmāpere. 

The bylaw will not apply to you if you get your water from a private water supply scheme or use rainwater you collect from your roof. Private water schemes are regulated by national legislation. The use of rainwater is not regulated.

No, plumbing into and inside buildings is regulated by the Building Act 2004.  The new bylaw will only apply to the parts of the system from the Council’s treatment stations to your property boundary.

There have been droughts in the Far North in recent years. Will the new bylaw ensure our water supply is more resilient? No, the new bylaw only applies to the treated water supply. It does not cover:

  • sourcing raw (untreated) water from streams, rivers or bores 
  • storing raw water in dams or reservoirs.  

We would like to hear your feedback on the proposal to the make the bylaw.  You can tell us what you think using any of the following feedback mechanisms:

  • make your submission online
  • via email to submissions@fndc.govt.nz 
  • drop-off your submission at any Council Service Centre or Far North Library
  • post your submission to: Strategy Development Team, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440

You will have the opportunity to speak to your submission at a meeting of Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee on 8 June 2021 (remotely/digitally or in person).