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Waiāri Water Supply Scheme

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is designed to help meet the future water supply needs of Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty.

What is the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme?

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme involves developing a water abstraction facility on the Waiāri Stream, a water treatment plant in No.1 Road, Te Puke, and an underground water pipeline from the plant to Papamoa.

The plant will mainly service the Papamoa coastal strip/Te Tumu growth areas and in time will provide a backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Te Puke water supply.

Construction started in March 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

A sneak peek

Drone footage from project engineers Beca gives you a great idea of the construction of the Waiāri intake facility. Also note the effort that is put into reducing any impact construction has on the environment. This is not professional video, however we thought it provides a good idea of what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’.

Watch the video

Waiari Treatment Plant

Community update

No1 Road update

Pipes have now been constructed and covered, which leaves the remaining chambers, air valves, scour valves and swales to be installed over the next few months. And once seal and road markings have been completed, traffic management will be removed. We acknowlegde this has been a challenging time for residents, and  your ongoing patience with this work and inconvenience from the traffic management.

Intake site progress

Construction of the intake is progressing well. Work below ground has finished, the wet wells completed and the focus in now on building the superstructure. The images below give a good idea of the sheer size of the facility and the progress made. 

Once the intake facility is operational, water will be extracted from the Waiari Stream into the wet wells. From there, water is pumped up to the treatment plant on top of the hill, where it will be processed, disinfected and distributed via the new gravity trunkmain. If all continues to go as planned, the plant will be operational by next summer 2022/23.


Fibre works

At the time the water pipe was laid, fibre ducts were installed alongside it. Our specialist fibre contractor is currently working to pull a fibre optic cable through the ducts, this will form the communication system for the water treatment plant and allows the system to function as part of the city’s wider water network.

Waiāri Kaitiaki Advisory Group (WKAG)

The WKAG met at Makahae Marae last month, with many hapu present. Dean Flavell and Elva Conway made a presentation regarding Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority and the fit between the Waiāri stream protection works and the Pataka Kai project for the Kaituna River was discussed. 

Water Quality Monitoring Update

Monitoring company 4Sight have completed their annual environmental monitoring, this has been going for the past seven years. Besides longfin eel and koura, banded kokopu were found for the first time at one of the monitoring sites - which is great to hear.

Fish at Waiari

Why do we need a new water supply?

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will provide for around 35,000 family homes, enabling both infill growth and new greenfield development across the city.

The coastal strip from Mount Maunganui to Papamoa is predicted to be Tauranga’s highest growth area – we’re expecting Papamoa’s population to triple over the next three decades. Te Puke’s population is also expected to grow steadily.

Tauranga currently has two water treatment plants: one at Oropi and one at Joyce Road. These plants provide Tauranga with water, but they won’t be able to provide for the growth in population in our coastal communities.

In the 2017/2018 summer, we introduced water restrictions in Tauranga for the first time in 17 years. This shows that we are nearing the capacity of our current water supply. The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will ensure security of supply as the city and sub-region expands. 

We’ve been undertaking ecological monitoring since the resource consent was granted in 2010, and will continue to monitor the stream’s chemical and biological health. We’ll also plant alongside the stream to prevent erosion and re-establish shade.

We’ll also carry out regular surveys to ensure the protection of aquatic life, including temperature readings, fish surveys and invertebrate samples.

The project costs will be funded in the first instance by an interest-free government Housing Infrastructure Fund loan. We’ll be able to repay the loan once we receive revenue from new houses, development contributions and rates.

The water will flow from the plant through around 22 kilometres of underground pipelines. The pipeline will start at 376 No. 1 Road, Te Puke, run down No. 1 Road through Lawrence Oliver Park, across private property and out to the Poplar Lane reservoir.

Underground pipes from there will carry the water along the Te Puke highway and Welcome Bay Road to the eastern reservoir at R942.

Iwi relationships with the river, water quality and quantity, and ecosystem health are important in our plans for the increasing population in the Papamoa East area.

The project recognises the inherent relationship tangata whenua have with the stream by collaborating with iwi through the Waiāri Kaitiaki Advisory Group, which was formed in 2011 to advise on matters relevant to tangata whenua and water conservation.

Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have a joint resource consent to abstract water from the Waiāri Stream. Western Bay of Plenty District Council currently gets its water supply from groundwater bores around the district.

At some stage in the future, the council will need to use the waterfrom the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme. The resource consent for the water abstracted from the Waiāri Stream allows for 25 percent to go to the Western Bay of Plenty district


  • Consent preparation and consultation started, Waiari Project Steering Group established.

    2007 - 2009
  • Initial consents awarded, appealed at the Environment Court and re-awarded July 2010 after mediation.

    2009 - 2010
  • Start of environmental monitoring of the Waiari stream, providing insight into the health of the stream and its wildlife. The Waiari Project Steering Programme becomes the Katiaki Advisory Group.

  • The scheme is put on hold due to decreased water demand.

    2012 – 2015
  • Planning and design recommence.

  • Tangata Whenua lead a blessing on the site of the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme. Construction of the scheme starts with the earthworks for the intake.

  • Start of foundations for the water intake at the Waiāri stream. This takes over 700 piles due to poor ground conditions.

  • Construction of the treatment facility starts with pre-loading 30,000m3 material to compact the ground to take the structural load.

  • Pipeline laying concludes; this means 22 kilometres of pipeline is now installed, connecting the new plant to the existing supply network. Pipeline flushing and disinfecting starts.

  • Reservoir completed – this will store 10 million litre treated water.
    Autumn - Construction, installation and ‘cold commissioning’ of the plant completed.
    Spring - Running the plant to check everything works as intended.
    Summer  - Waiāri Water treatment plant in production.



Document library

3D images of the treatment plant and the intake (1mb pdf)
General FAQ's (2mb pdf)
Pipeline route (2mb pdf)

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