Progress continues apace on water storage

  • Hon Shane Jones

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says he is looking forward to the day when three key water projects in Northland are up and running, unlocking the full potential of land in the region.

Mr Jones attended a community event at the site of the Otawere reservoir near Kerikeri on Friday. The event was hosted by Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust to give locals and stakeholders an update on progress.

A total of $19m in loans was provided through the Provincial Growth Fund for the construction and other work involved on the 4 million m3 reservoir. Work started on the project in September 2023.

Otawere reservoir is one of three water projects managed by Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust, and its consenting was fast-tracked during the COVID-19 recovery phase.

“In addition to the establishment of environmentally sustainable and commercially viable horticulture, these projects are providing economic development and employment in the region,” Mr Jones says.

“Once they are all up and running, they will provide even more benefits. Previously low-value horticultural land will be able to be used for higher-value crops, which will benefit iwi, their communities and the local economy.

“They could also provide additional capacity for municipal water supply, with the ability of district councils to buy shares in the schemes. This means water shortages in towns such as Kaikohe and Dargaville could be mitigated,” Mr Jones says.

Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust was created in mid-2020 to initiate water storage and distribution schemes in Northland.

Over the past three years the trust has:

  • Designed and had consented three reservoirs and associated infrastructure.
  • Completed construction of the 750,000 m3 Matawii water storage reservoir.
  • Largely completed the 3.3 million m3 Te Waihekeora water storage reservoir.
  • Installed around 20km of mainline.
  • Built six pump stations and two stream intakes.

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