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COVID-19: information

Under Alert Level 2, many Council facilities and services will resume at a reduced capacity. 

To find out what's happening with our services, facilities, parks and venues: www.tauranga.govt.nz/covid19  |  For information on COVID-19: covid19.govt.nz  |  Stay safe and be kind to one another - kia kaha Tauranga.


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.

Community updates

Te Puke Highway diversion from 8 January

For three months, from 8 January to April 2020, Te Puke Highway will be down to one lane between Bell Road and Welcome Bay Road. Traffic to Tauranga will be unaffected, traffic heading towards Te Puke will be diverted via Tara, Parton and Bell Road(s).

This diversion is essential for safety of motorists and construction staff on this section. Work to lay pipes pass a narrow section in the road, along a volatile retaining wall. The detour will add up to five minutes to the journey to Te Puke and is timed to avoid peak kiwifruit season. The alternative is a full closure of Te Puke Highway, which we have worked hard to avoid.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and consideration for the safety of staff and other drivers when passing works.

Number One Road pipeline construction

Construction on the number one road has started, our contractor, Smythes Construction have set up a site office in the area. Drilling will take place from around 10 different areas (pits) and access to properties will not be impacted, or discussed with owners should that be necessary.

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

See 3D images of the treatment plant and the intake

Traffic Impacts

Ongoing pipeline construction will impact until late 2020. You will see:

  • One way traffic on Te Puke Highway, between Welcome Bay roundabout and Bell Road, towards Tauranga only. Te Puke boud traffic is diverted via Tara, Parton and Bell Road(s).
  • Stop/Go signals on Welcome Bay Road, 24/7, 500m sections that move with progress of work. Traffic will be slower at peak times, please anticipate delays.
  • The site will be controlled manually during operating hours
  • Reduced speed on Te Puke Highway – first 30km then 50km when passing works 

We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience this causes in the area. 

To keep up to date, check back in here and sign up for our community newsletter by emailing jennifer.pearson@tauranga.govt.nz

General FAQ's (2mb pdf) Pipeline route (2mb pdf)

Why do we need a new water supply?

Increased demand in the coastal strip

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. 

How will you protect the Waiāri Stream?

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.

How will the scheme be funded?

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.

Where is the pipeline going?

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.

What about the local iwi?

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.

Will Western Bay of Plenty District Council be using this water for Te Puke and other landowners in the area?

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.

Last Reviewed: 17/02/2020


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