Feedback sought on new Treated Water Supply Bylaw

Published on 11 May 2021

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Far North District Council is asking for public feedback on a new Treated Water Supply Bylaw.

The bylaw applies to the eight water schemes managed by the Council. These supply homes and businesses at Kaikohe-Ngawha, Kaitāia, Kawakawa-Moerewa, Kerikeri-Waipapa, Ōkaihau, Opononi-Ōmāpere, Paihia-Opua-Waitangi, and Rawene-Omanaia.

The new draft bylaw was approved last week by the Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee for public consultation. It reaffirms most of the conditions for the supply and use of treated water contained in the current bylaw. This includes defining the point of water supply to customers and where Council responsibilities for supply end; Council obligations over supply interruptions during maintenance or emergencies; Council powers to apply water restrictions; and the use of water meters to ensure fair and accurate billing.  

The bylaw will not apply to privately-owned water schemes, which are regulated by national legislation.

Strategy and Policy Committee Chair Rachel Smith says the supply of treated water is a key service the Council provides to many of the district’s urban residents, but also to rural households that rely on treated water to refill rainwater tanks during prolonged dry periods. Other commercial operations use treated water from hydrant standpipes. 

“Like the existing bylaw, the new Treated Water Supply Bylaw sets out exactly what the Council’s obligations are to our many water customers. However, the new bylaw will clarify technical language, simplify the definition of treated water, and provide an explanation of customer rights to object to water supply decisions.”

She adds that the new bylaw is not related to the Government’s review of three waters. “That is a national examination of treated water supplies, wastewater and stormwater. This consultation is an opportunity for residents to have a say on treated water supplies delivered by Far North District Council and is part of a process to replace a bylaw due to be revoked in October.”

The three-week submission process for the new Treated Water Supply Bylaw is now open and will close on 31 May. Submissions can made using an online survey form at www.fndc.govt.nz/waterbylaw2021, by emailing submissions@fndc.govt.nz, delivering submissions in person at any Council Service Centre or Far North Library, or by posting it to: Strategy Development Team, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440.  

All submitters will have the opportunity to speak to their submission during a meeting of the Strategy and Policy Committee on 8 June 2021. This can be undertaken online or in person.