The Aupōuri aquifer could be supplying Kaitaia with an adequate supply of water within weeks thanks to a deal reached between the Far North District Council and iwi Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto.

The town's main water source, the Awanui River, has been flowing at its lowest level since records began 50 years ago, Mayor John Carter saying the council had been investigating supplementary sources, and was now working on a plan with Te Rarawa and NgāiTakoto to pipe water from a bore on the iwi-owned Sweetwater Farm to the town's treatment plant.

The council had already taken delivery of pipes for a 4km pipeline from the bore to the plant, and water could be flowing in 16 days.

"We are both facing in the same direction and planning together on how best to do this. We have a clear concept, and are working through the detail," he said.


The council was grateful to Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto for helping to find a solution to the water shortage, and for the awhi they had shown for the people of Kaitaia.

"This is an example of the collaboration we would like more of in the future," he added.

Meanwhile progress was being made on the plan to use a council-owned bore at Sweetwater to supply bulk carriers. A site had been cleared for a tank farm and temporary water treatment plant, on loan from Watercare, in Auckland, and it was planned to begin supplying carriers in two to three weeks.