Kaitāia water pipeline construction begins

Published on 30 July 2021

Sweetwater pipeline build begins 30 july 2021.jpg

The second phase of a $14.3 million project to make Kaitāia’s water supply more drought resilient was launched today with a dawn blessing at Sweetwater 14 km north of the town.

The Council has already completed phase one of the project, converting two temporary aquifer bores into permanent water sources. The second and final stage of the project involves building a pipeline across private land and linking the bores to the Council’s Kaitāia water treatment plant in Okahu Road. The bores will provide up to 5000 cubic metres of extra water a day and supplement the town’s main water source, the Awanui River, which runs low during dry summers.

Archdeacon Lloyd Popata of Ngāti Kahu blessed the project at the Sweetwater bore site with support from Ngāi Takoto and Te Rarawa. Deputy Mayor Ann Court then officially launched construction, thanking iwi and landowners for their support.  

Ms Court says the Kaitāia Water Project will give Kaitāia households, businesses and industry greater certainty by providing a water supply they can rely on.

“Kaitāia has needed access to an alternative water supply for many years. Our second largest town came close to running out of water during the drought of 2010, something that was repeated in less than a decade with the record-breaking drought in 2019-20.  During that drought, flows in the Awanui River fell to the lowest level since records began 50 years ago.”

The Council expects to take 10 months to complete the pipeline and aims to commission the new supply by mid-2022.