Aquifer water to supply Kaitaia within weeks

Published on 26 February 2020

Centennial Park (Jaycee) - Kaitaia

An underground aquifer could supply Kaitaia with an adequate supply of water within weeks, thanks to iwi Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto.

The town’s main water source, the Awanui River, has been flowing at its lowest level since records began 50 years ago.  The Council introduced Level 4 water restrictions earlier this month and it has been investigating supplementary water sources to ensure continuity of supply to Kaitaia households and businesses.  It is currently working on a plan with Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto to pipe water from a bore on the iwi-owned Sweetwater Farm to Kaitaia’s Water Treatment Plant.

Far North Mayor John Carter says the Council has already taken delivery of pipes for a 4km pipeline from the bore to the treatment plant and the new water source could be available in 16 days.  “We are both facing in the same direction and planning together on how best to do this.  We have a clear concept and are working through the detail.”

Mayor John Carter says the Council is grateful to Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto for making this option available.  “We are grateful to Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto for helping us to find a solution to the water shortage and for the awhi they have shown for the people of Kaitaia. This is an example of the collaboration we would like to do more of in the future.”

Meanwhile, the Council is progressing works at Sweetwater where it plans to use a Council-owned bore to supply water to bulk water carriers. To date, this work has involved clearing a site for a tank farm and temporary water treatment plant Watercare in Auckland has loaned to the Council.  The Council plans to begin supplying bulk water carriers with water from the bore in two to three weeks.  “We are still urging people to reduce their water usage by 25% and ask Kaitaia residents to do what they can to improve on the 16% water use reduction the town achieved last week.”

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