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Waimangaroa water supply upgrade

Kia ora koutou Welcome to the project page about the Waimangaroa water supply upgrade.


Waimangaroa currently has an untreated water supply sourced from Conns Creek. It is under a permanent ‘Boil Water Notice’ due to public health risk, and is also vulnerable to loss of supply, poor water quality and maintenance hazards.

There are 140 connections serving a population of approximately 250 residents. The existing system does not meet the criteria for a safe, reliable and adequate water supply compliant with Drinking Water Standards NZ.

A range of solutions were explored including the option of piping water 12kms from Westport. The community’s preference was for the water to continue to be sourced locally. The current Waimangaroa water supply upgrade is based therefore on upgrading the resilience of the existing infrastructure.

In 2022, a new and far more resilient polyethylene (PE) water main was laid down the entire length of Conns Creek Road commencing at the intersection of Neighbours Street to the existing historic rock wall at the end of Conns Creek Road. This replaces the very fragile existing PVC pipeline.

Pressure testing of the completed 1.4km of PE main within the unsealed Conns Creek Road is due to be complete in November/December 2022.

There is a history of the old PVC pipe failing due to its thin, brittle nature, pressure within the line, and its age. The new PE main is designed to significantly improve the reliability of the system.

The Conns Creek Road site is also of significant heritage value and contractors are working closely with archaeologists while replacing the pipe.

Conns Creek Road is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) who are working with Buller District Council to facilitate progress on the project.

Now that the new pipeline on Conns Creek is laid, the next phase involves replacing the pipelines in the bush areas above the town and providing a more resilient intake. Contractor Westreef Services Ltd is working on that now and this should be complete in January 2023.

Relevant information:

Waimangaroa Council Report August 2021

The Waimangaroa Water Supply project team continues to work on the Conns Creek option and will prepare a report for the Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 25 August 2021.

The conforming solution (as per Council’s request for tender) for the Conns Creek Upgrade is based on an engineer’s estimate of $2.68M and includes:

A preferred raw water system (as per Council’s design engineer concept), which has been priced via early contractor involvement (ECI)

A preferred treated water system including new treatment plant and 300m3 gravity flow storage, which will go out for open tender

Council has previously resolved to consider the raw water system up to a value of $1.45M once the evaluation report was completed by staff. Council also resolved that the estimated $1.23M shortfall for the treated water system must be externally funded to avoid additional impact to ratepayers. Subsequent advice has guided Council to re-consult with the community before committing to the raw water system.

A range of alternatives is also being explored by the project team, seeking to achieve safe, compliant drinking water within the already approved budget of $1.45M and includes:

A priority raw water system (lowest capital cost), following a risk based approach to reduce scope or redesign

A priority treated water system, also following a risk based approach to reduce scope or redesign

The Council report is expected to recommend that a new community consultation process be conducted in September, based on the various options and alternatives presented at the August meeting to ensure appropriate consideration and opportunity for feedback from ratepayers.

On 30 June, Council adopted the 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan for the Buller District. As a result, new rates charges will apply from Thursday 1 July. From this date, the water rates will be $1,093 including GST per connection.

These rates were set on $1.45m loan funded capital programme cost of $1.45m. Part of the community consultation in September will revisit the costs of the project and the impact of the rates to each ratepayer.

If anyone is concerned about meeting their payments for rates Council may be able to assist. Ratepayers may be entitled to a rates rebate which can pay up to $655 off a rates bill each year. Ratepayers can also pay their rates by setting up an automatic payment, or by direct debit.

Paying rates in a small regular payment can take away the worry of a rates bill every three months. Contact Council for details if you would like to make regular payments of your rates.


If you have an enquiry about Waimangaroa water, please email or phone Council on 0800 807 239.