Rārangi Wā

2015 – 2017

  • Following the progressive application of the BOPRC’s Plan Change 14 around Rotorua Lakes, the Lake Tarawera Sewerage Steering Committee (LTSSC) was established to consider the best viable options for the community to comply with the Plan Change and potential reticulation.
  • Committee representatives include Tūhourangi Tribal Authority, Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi, Māori landowners, the Lake Tarawera Ratepayers Association, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) and Rotorua Lakes Council.
  • First Cultural Impact Assessment was undertaken.
  • BOPRC proposed and adopted a change to the Regional Plan that manages on-site effluent treatment systems in the BOP region. Under “Plan Change 14” the installation of new septic tanks in the Tarawera area is prohibited and consents for existing septic tanks will not be renewed.
  • Tarawera Ratepayers Association asks RLC to assist finding a workable and viable solution for all the properties of Tarawera as some 170 properties were identified to be unable to physically comply with the BOPRC’s regulations.


  • LTSSC consider the five possible viable wastewater options.

October 2018

  • LTSSC confirms preferred option (reticulation) to the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant via the public road network to Ōkāreka pumping station, with on-site low-pressure grinder pumps (LPGPs) for each property.

This option was favoured because;

  • of the lowest overall long term cost for home owners as well as for the Council’s long term network operations,
  • would achieve, in the most cost effective way the goals of removing untreated sewerage from the lake and help to measurably improve water quality at Tarawera,
  • avoids wāhi tupuna (ancestral sites),
  • and could be implemented quickly (resource consent is not required).
  • Cost estimates for the preferred concept option were carried out to obtain indicative early cost parameters.


  • Second Cultural Impact Assessment carried out, exploring the effects of several solution options and pipeline routes. The proposed Spencer Road – Tarawera Road pipeline route was more culturally acceptable because it avoided wāhi tupuna.

November 2020

  • Council acknowledges the community request and passes resolution agreeing to incorporate funding in its draft 2021-31 Long Term Plan and the Capital Funding Plan for the phased implementation of the scheme subject to community wide consultation of the Draft LTP.  The design and delivery of the scheme and approves work to progress the detailed design, enabling a more accurate construction cost to be defined which will determine the ‘contribution’ to be paid by residents.

Early 2021

  • Following concerns from the local community, expressed in feedback and consultations, that some in the Tarawera community may not be able to make a lump sum payment on completion, a funding sub-committee was formed.
  • Committee consists of council officers, Rotorua Lakes Community Board, elected members, a BOPRC local member and Tarawera community representatives.
  • Committee considers repayment options and develops criteria laying out a modified repayment option.

June 2021

  • Council considers the results of its Long Term Plan community consultation and adopts changes to the initial proposal for the reticulation bringing the scheme forward to 2021-2024/25 years.
  • Council provides funds in the 2021/22 year for the detailed design of the preferred option to enable a more accurate construction cost to be defined which will determine the ‘net contribution’ to be paid by residents.
  • Council also commits to progressing the scheme as part of the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan.
November 2021
  • RLC contracts for the detailed design of the preferred LPGP scheme.

December 2021

  • Design begins (starting with survey work to ascertain pipeline routes and property visits to determine location of on-site treatment systems).

May 2022

  • RLC explored option to split scheme construction into two ‘stages’:

Stage 1- installing street mains and pumping systems (pricing for this was in accordance with budget).

Stage 2 – connecting each dwelling to street mains (pricing for this stage was considerably higher than budget).

June 2022

  • In order to meet funding deadlines imposed by (MfE $6.5m) Stage 1 construction needs to be completed by the end of December 2023. Council votes in favour of taking the 2-stage approach, allowing Stage 1 to proceed within the funding time limit imposed by MfE.
  • More flexible repayment options made available to Tarawera residents and were subsequently presented and adopted by Council.

July 2022

  • Tarawera ratepayers were again consulted on the 2-stage approach.  Of 458 potential respondents, 349 responses were received.  313 of these supported the approach.
  • Construction price for Stage 1 were sought through construction contractor (with a 3rd party market pricing comparison requested to provide assurance) and prices benchmarked to the open market winning tender for the East Rotoiti scheme a year earlier.

November 2022

  • Council entered into a contract with Fulton Hogan for construction of Stage 1.

March 2023

  • Stage 1 physical works begin.
  • Stage 2 procurement options explored to optimise net costs.

June 2024

  • Stage 1 complete.

June 2025

  • Stage 2 complete.