Infrastructure | Ngā Pūnaha Wai

Infrastructure in Whaingaroa

Raglan has had a telegraph line since 1884, electricity since 1935, piped water since 1964 and a sewage system since 1977; its harbour diffuser broke in 1978, resulting in a discharge just off Riria Kereopa Memorial Drive. Waste was once dumped in many small tips and offal holes. Xtreme Waste recycling started in 2000. Transport is covered in another snapshot. Some of these services arrived much later in other parts of the area and only the town has reticulated water and sewage. For example, electric power didn’t reach Waimaori Rd until 1966. More recently, many have installed solar panels and batteries.

The 2001 Raglan Naturally Community Plan had several uncompleted action priorities, which are included below.

The 1994-2004 history of the sewage works is in a MfE paper paper  –

In 1994 a resource consent allowed Waikato District Council to increase peak sewage sea discharge from 1,000 to 2,600m3 per day. That expired in 1999. A consultative group of tangata whenua and Community Board appointed representatives then approved pond/wetland treatment to bathing water standard and an extended sea outfall, despite tangata whenua opposition. It was granted consent in 1999 for a peak discharge of 3,400m3 a day. Mana whenua appealed against continued discharge to sea and wāhi tapu issues. Environment Court mediation, funded by council with a meeting allowance for appellants, resulted in upgrading to shellfish quality discharge, limited to 2,600m3 a day, $1 million of council funding to investigate land disposal and removal of the front treatment pond. Land disposal was turned down, principally due to the poor soakage characteristics of local clay soils and the potential effects on small streams.

Water from Riki Spring usually has about a fifth of allowable sediment, so is not filtered. A 2016 earthquake increased turbidity, but the chance of recurrence is low.

Energy wasn’t considered in the 2001 Plan and, apart from electricity, has only been added to this Snapshot at the last minute. It has become more apparent since 2001 that fossil fuel is a finite resource and the main cause of global warming. As well as electric power, Whaingaroa uses oil products, wood and LPG. Use is also made of solar power for water heating and electricity, and the proposed District Plan mentions ‘passive solar’ seven times, though it has no rule requiring use of solar power.

Infrastructure in the Waikato and Aotearoa

Up to now there has been little exchange of information between neighbouring councils on infrastructure. Plans for integration of waters services may change that.

Gas from the Taranaki serves much of Waikato, but not Whaingaroa.

Other than that, the use of energy in Whaingaroa is probably similar to that nationwide. The government says that in 2016  petrol use was up by 2.4% and diesel by 2.6% from 2015 and renewables provided 42% of energy, mainly from the 85% of electricity produced from water, wind and geothermal. With improved insulation, energy use in homes is falling.

What topics were covered and who has been involved so far:

We appreciate all the work of the Focus Group members

Please note: this Snapshot report is a starting point for community-wide input and is not a finished or complete report. Your input will build on this report.

Topics Covered:

  • Sewage
  • Water
  • Storm water
  • Refuse
  • Electricity
  • Phone/broadbandInfrastructure


  • gas, electricity (solar, wind), oil products (incl petrol), wood, solar heating, water pump power

Who is contributing to this Snapshot

Focus Group email list: Tony Oosten, Lisa Thomson, Fiona McNabb, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Liz Stanton, Angeline Greensill, Heather Thomson, Malibu Hamilton, Rolande Paekau, Fred Lichtwark, Fiona Edwards, Rick Thorpe, Sean Ellison, Bob MacLeod, John Lawson.

Partners, organisations, people

  • Tangata whenua
  • Local government

Infrastructure Strengths & Assets


  • WINTEC students are working on possible options for sewage proposals
  • Raglan’s reportable wastewater overflow events have decreased dramatically since the increased focus and response from the Waikato District Council.
  • The installation of dedicated generators and the availability of portable units has reduced the risk of overflows due to power outages.
  • Raglan’s wastewater does not consistently meet Regional Council’s consent conditions for discharge volume and Total Suspended Solids (TSS – mainly algae). A membrane final treatment stage is to be installed to reduce TSS and hence improve the ability of UltraViolet (UV) disinfection to kill remaining pathogens.
  • Effect of government proposal to halve swimming water standards
  • Ministry of Health funding might be available.

We have a clean water supply which is available throughout the year. It meets the current demand within the 3,100m3/day resource consent from Riki Spring and 500m3/day from a 2001 bore 40m away, though the bore hasn’t been used, due to quality, and treatment is not considered cost effective.

We have the Urban Stormwater Tangata Whenua and Key Stakeholders Liaison Group which allows local input into stormwater decisions.


  • Raglan is very fortunate through the hard work and dedication of a core team of community champions to have Xtreme Zero Waste manage the waste handling. Xtreme Zero have done an outstanding job increasing recycling rates, diversion from landfill and introduction of residential food waste composting.
  • The business case for a full circular economy built on the waste elimination and minimisation needs to be progressed.
  • As the volume of greenwaste increases should anaerobic digestion be explored to produce methane that could displace LPG use by the town restaurants and homes.
  • The Community Board and Councils need to lobby government for product stewardship programs to put whole of life costs on the manufacturers and importers.

Raglan has good opportunity to increase renewable electricity generation due to wind resource and sunlight hours and local experienced renewable electricity installers.

Introduction of highspeed internet has assisted in the ability for local businesses to connect with the global business community.

Future Challenges & Opportunities

Key challenges that are specific to the infrastructure  group:


  • Pathogens eg staph aurius not being tested for – Infectious Diseases team (Dell Hood) took no note of pathogens – effect on antibiotic resistance.
  • Discharge should only occur on outgoing tides, but inundation by stormwater and errors in programming, have caused this not to occur. An eCoast model shows it flows back into Kaitoke Creek.
  • Stormwater infiltration smoke tests showed several houses with stormwater connected to sewers. Council has yet to decide to take action.
  • Raglan’s wastewater does not consistently meet Regional Council’s consent conditions for discharge volume and Total Suspended Solids (TSS – mainly algae). A membrane final treatment stage is to be installed to reduce TSS and hence improve the ability of UltraViolet (UV) disinfection to kill remaining pathogens.
  • Kaikoura runs waters and wastes in organisation similar to Xtreme – Xtreme willing to consider
  • Health board surveillance of the Raglan harbour shellfish have identified pathogen contamination potentially from wastewater discharge.
  • The new Wastewater consent in 2020 may allow the status quo to continue. Is this what the community wants? The new consent could be for a shorter term with clear milestones to meet the community’s goals for its wastewater treatment plant.


  • Metering is highlighting water leakage in both the council distribution system and at the residential level. WDC’s 2014 water supply report said 39.8% of Raglan’s water supply was lost by leakage. The asbestos cement pipes, which form the majority of the 49km of piping, are nearing the end of their life, having been part of the original 1960s supply scheme.
  • Metering has resulted in large families and tenants paying more for water, but holiday home owners, who add to the need for infrastructure to cope with summer peaks, paying less.

For the key challenges that need to be considered across all focus areas, these are the questions we are asking:


  • How does this challenge impact on infrastructure?
  • How does Infrastructure impact this challenge?


  •  What is the opportunity for us in Infrastructure in relation to this challenge?

The key challenges: (Please note that some of these sections are still to be completed.)

Climate change

Impact:  Energy from fossil fuels increases climate change
Sea level rises, algal blooms, adverse weather
Opportunity:  Use local solar, water and wind power. Tidal power would need to take account of any effects on sand and fish movement. Minimise use of oil fuelled vehicles by using alternative, more inclusive, forms of transport.


Impact: Fuel poverty leading to poor health.
Opportunity:  Insulation, draught-proofing and local power generation.

Growth in visitor numbers

Impact: Drinking water.  There is a margin of around 500 cubic metres per day before reaching the current resource consent limit.

Implementing the Treaty of Waitangi

Impact:  Sewage currently pumped out to sea.
Impact:  Inclusivity
Opportunity: Land-based sewage utilisation.



Aspirations & Goals Identified by the Focus Groups with supporting projects, strategies and initiatives.  
(Please note that there may be areas that are still to be completed.)

Values behind the goals & aspirations Aspirations vision for long term
& Goals measurable, specific, achievable
Different ways goals can be achieved
Projects & Initiatives
Specific actions, responsibility, funding
with other Focus Areas
Environment, health No fingerprint of manmade pollutants detectable in harbour and ocean beach waters, no more wastewater to ocean discharge, all storm water treated to remove contaminants. – Systems that filter the stormwater before it enters the harbour.
– Systems that reduce stormwater, such as composting toilets and correction of illegally connected stormwater.
– The sewage plant has a high quality standard post treatment.
– Land disposal of man-made pollutants /nutrients, such as sewage.
– If that isn’t done, increase outfall pipe diameter, add a diffuser and discharge membrane filtered and UV treated effluent via a constructed wetland to even out discharge volumes and deliver shellfish quality water.
Contribute to public submissions on renewal of the wastewater consent, which expires on 14 February 2020
($13m, set aside for resource consent, could be saved if community consensus can be achieved on better use of that money.)
Environment Recreation
Health, safety, environment Distance from a fire hydrant in accordance with NZS 4509:2008 Extend water pipes to the Whaanga coast, including, in particular, provision of fire fighting water. Council, fire brigade Environment
Efficiency, minimise resource use Coordinated GPS based works schedules. Coordinate drainage, power and telephone works, prior to planned roadworks.
Council, WEL, Chorus, NZTA, developers Transport
Environment Views not cluttered with wires. Climate change resilience. Underground services in new developments and underground existing overhead services when renewals are due.
Council, WEL, Chorus, NZTA, developers
Equity Reduce wastewater treatment plant operating costs. Generate power with methane from sewage and food waste. Install floating Solar PhotoVoltaics to generate electricity and shade the sewage ponds to reduce algae growth. Council
Equity Reduce water costs. Adopt funding for water which doesn’t penalise tenants, large families and year-round residents, fund targeted home water efficiency changes. Council Community Wellbeing
Environment Clear roadmap to deal with sea level rise and increase in storm intensity. Sea level rise needs to be planned for at sewage pumps and, in the longer term at sewage ponds. Council/Regional Council
Environment, climate change Reduce greenhouse gas emissions Generate methane at wastewater treatment plant and reticulate to CBD to replace LPG. Council
Environment Filter stormwater before it enters the harbour ● All new kerbing and channeling needs to be designed with swales to perform first stage of roadway run-off filtration.
● Look into a better design of permeable parking. The James street permeable parking design must not be used again as it has not performed as grass cover has not been able to be achieved and if it is achieved visitors do not understand that they can park on it.
● All combined stormwater flows need to be either directed towards the Aro Aro wetland for filtration via pumps or individual point of discharge wetlands need to be constructed to filter the water prior to harbour discharge. Design was done in 2011 by Gerry Kessels, this should be implemented.
Cost Reduce leakage. Replace asbestos cement water pipes. Council
Climate change Reduce energy use. Contact energy providers to calculate Whaingaroa’s use of fuels and set achievable targets for reduction by insulation, transport efficiency, etc. WEL, petrol stations, gas bottle suppliers, builders. Transport, Farming
Climate change, Equity Increase production of renewable energy. Facilitate uptake of solar panels and micro hydro generation. Develop community based power cooperative to reduce electricity poverty. Solar installers.
Equity Ultra fast 100mps broadband available to all homes and businesses. Facilitate rollout of Ultra fast broadband to allow businesses to connect with the global business community.

Questions from the Infrastructure & Energy Group

1. What’s missing in our Snapshot?

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