If you want to run a hoax impersonating the council the first step would probably be not to deliver a letter to a council staff member.

Whangarei District Council are warning people of a hoax letter delivered to letterboxes in the Tamaterau area asking for a $15 payment for water leak repairs.

"The letter is a hoax and residents are advised not to make payment."

The letter asks people to pay by credit or debit card but does not give a bank account.

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Council corporate general manager Alan Adcock said a council staff member received one of the letters in his mailbox on Thursday and was suspicious.

Mr Adcock said the council has received four reports of the letters being delivered so far. Two were from members of the public and two were from council staff members.

He said the council became aware of the issue on Thursday but cannot be more specific on the time frame of delivery.

Mr Adcock said the letter has the council logo on the top right hand side and includes council contact details.

He said the matter has been referred to Onerahi Police.

The council is asking anyone who receives one of these letters to enclose it in an envelope and drop it off at Whangarei District Council, with their name and address on the back and attention it to David Palmer.