Works and Network Utilities

 UtilitiesWorks and Network Utility Indicators (what we measure)


Treatment PlantCouncil aims to provide effective and environmentally efficient water, stormwater and sewage reticulation and treatment to meet the needs of our communities. Council provides network utilities to houses and businesses within the district.

Works and network utilities provide services essential to our social and economic well being, and to our health and safety. Other utilities in our district include electricity and telecommunications.

While there are positive effects to infrastructure, works and network utilities may potentially have some negative effects on the community and our environment. These are addressed through resource consent conditions that aim to remedy, mitigate and avoid any adverse effects of activities. There could also be negative social, economic and environmental effects if these works and infrastructure services were not provided.

A summary of our situation


The total quantity of water being consumed in Matamata-Piako District has remained largely unchanged since 2013/14, when it peaked, after having fluctuated in the six years prior.

In 2007/08 and 2008/09, due to extremely dry weather, sprinkler bans were instigated for approximately one month over summer during both years. In 2009/10 water restrictions were not required as a result of responsible water use during the dry summer months. In 2010/11 restrictions lasted for three weeks but there were no restrictions in 2011/12. In the three years 2012/13 to 2014/15 there were again water restrictions resulting from drought conditions. The restrictions related to either dwindling raw water sources or short term peak demands during the height of summer. Although a ‘conserve’ water reminder was issued in 2015/16, there have been no water restrictions in the past two years.

An upgrade to the Matamata water treatment plant took place in 2008/09 and further plant and water capacity upgrades were completed throughout the entire district in the 2011/12 years. 

The Te Aroha water supply is adequate for residential growth, but if water consumption by industrial users increases significantly, upgrading of treatment facilities will be required. Council budgeted $2 million in 2016/17 for the Te Aroha Water Treatment Plant capacity expansion project. The progression of this project is dependent on demand from industrial consumers, which has not yet been established.

Water Quality

Reticulation pipes

Council provides clean, safe drinking water as this core service is essential to the health of our communities. Our focus is on improving the water quality through water treatment plant upgrades to comply with New Zealand Drinking Water Standards (2008) and ensure we are complying with our resource consents.

The Ministry of Health sets ‘New Zealand Drinking Water Standards’ (NZDWS) to ensure that safe drinking water is available to everyone. The NZDWS define the minimum standards for drinking water in New Zealand, and the water the Council treats and supplies needs to meet those standards. To meet these requirements, we started upgrading water suppliers and water treatment facilities five years ago in order to meet these requirements.

Public Health Management Plans for the Matamata and Morrinsville water supplies have been approved and approval for the Te Aroha water supply plan is expected in the near future.

There are seven water supply schemes in the district:

  • Three larger supplies for Matamata (including Waharoa), Morrinsville and Te Aroha
  • Four small schemes in Te Poi, Tahuna, Hinuera and Te Aroha West.

There are eight treatment plants and approximately 336 kilometres of water pipes. Water is supplied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means we operate and maintain equipment, machinery and backup facilities, and train staff to respond rapidly in the event of a problem.

In 2013/14, Council upgraded existing reticulation pumps at the Burwood Road Water Treatment Plant to improve the flow of water in to the reticulation network. The cost was $35,000. A 148 metre deep replacement bore was drilled to supply the Tahuna community at a cost of $49,000. A backup generator was installed, at a cost of $60,000 at the Tawari Street Water Treatment Plant. The backup generator will ensure that Council can continue to supply water to the Waharoa community in the event of a prolonged power outage.

A new bore was drilled at Waharoa in 2014/15 to reduce the demand on the Matamata reticulation network, but there has been no increase in the volume of water that Council is permitted to extract. Instead of constructing a new reservoir for Matamata, modifications will be made to the water mains which will improve supply to most properties.


Despite improvements on the metering of discharges and efforts by large industry to reduce the volume they discharge to Council treatment plants, there is a general trend of an increase in the quantity of sewage treated by Council. This trend correlates to an increase in the consumption of water over the same period. This trend is likely to be the result of an increasing population. This includes the increase from 2009/10 to 2010/11, which is due to the sewerage connection to Tahuna and Waharoa. The figures for the quantity of sewage treated in 2017/18 were not available at the time of writing.

In order to improve the efficiency of our district’s wastewater network Council has instigated a programme to measure and reduce stormwater infiltration to our sewerage systems.

Discharge Quality

Improvements to waste water treatment plants (WWTP) has seen a steady increase in the level of discharge compliance throughout the district. Council commissioned a new $4.5 million WWTP for Te Aroha in December 2006 and the effluent discharge from this plant is fully compliant with the current discharge consent.

The Matamata and Morrinsville WWTPs were upgraded in 2009/10 and 2012/13, respectively, in order to comply with resource consent requirements. The Waharoa/Raungaiti sewerage scheme was completed in 2012/13, allowing nearly 200 septic tanks to be decommissioned.

Compliance rates with resource consent conditions

Year Level of Compliance
2007/2008 Council complied 100% with water and stormwater resource consent conditions. 90.8% compliance was achieved with wastewater discharge consent conditions.
2008/2009 Council complied 100% with water resource consent conditions, 95% with stormwater resource consent conditions and 96% with wastewater discharge consent conditions.
2009/2010 Council complied 100% with water and storm water  resource consent conditions and 94% for waste water.
2010/2011 High compliance with conditions.
2011/12 High compliance with conditions.
2012/13 High compliance with conditions.
2013/14 High compliance with conditions.
2014/15 High level of compliance except for two water and two wastewater sites
2015/16 Most Resource Consents have achieved a high level of compliance except two wastewater sites. Matamata and Te Aroha wastewater treatment plants are not compliant during specific times of the year. Council and the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) are working together to resolve this and Council may apply for a variation to the resource consents. Council is still awaiting the annual reports from the Regional Council for our water consents.
2016/17 All but two sites achieved compliance with resource consent conditions. The two non-compliances were both Matamata bores which exceeded their annual water take.
2017/18 Figures were unavailable at time of writing


Information on the volume of stormwater discharged from Council reticulation is not monitored. Council does, however, monitor the quality of stormwater discharged as per conditions detailed in our discharge consents. Visual inspections of key stretches of open channel are carried out.

Other Network Utilities

Number of new network utilities granted resource consent

Year 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Number of new network utilities granted resource consent 2 0 1 4 0 3 0 0 1 0

There were three new network utilities granted resource consent in 2013/14 for a substation and two telecommunications facilities. No network utilities were granted resource consent in 2014/15 or 2015/16. In 2016/17, a resource consent was granted for the upgrade of aircraft navigational infrastructure on the Kaimai Ranges.


As at 2017/18 there are 519.55 hectares of reserves under Council management.

What Council Is Doing

Council has spent a considerable amount of money on the maintenance and upgrading of urban services such as wastewater, water and stormwater. The community receives education material regarding water conservation through the fortnightly publication ‘Council in Focus’.

Amount of Council spending on upgrading & renewing urban services

Year 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
($000s) 9,735 8,195 5,994 7,258 8,014 8,124 8,463 13,248 11,281 15,816


To help Council provide for increased demand and growth, development and financial contributions are collected by Council on all new developments and subdivisions.

Number and value of development and financial contributions collected per year

Year 08/09* 09/10* 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Number 135 229 238 114 84 73 76 107 205 627
Value (in $000) 1,136 336 373 168 133 132 147 432 304 1,149

*Includes Network contributions and Parks and Reserves contributions

When these contributions were originally collected, the majority of them were for Council recreation reserves but in recent years the contributions have related more to services. Significant Development contributions were collected between 2009/10 and 2010/11 from the first stage of a development for 89 lots in Banks Road, Matamata.

Between 20011/12 and 2014/15 the amount of money received from contributions reduced significantly. This is primarily because there was less demand for residential sections as a result of the economic downturn. Consequently fewer 224 certificates (completion certificates) have been issued and fewer development and financial contributions have been received by Council. However, in the last three years both the number and value of contributions has climbed significantly when compared to the previous four years, in line with the growth in development in the district. The figures for 2017/18 are the highest recorded over the past 10 years.


What can consumers do to assist Council with our environmental obligations?


  • Try not to waste water unnecessarily. Every drop of water coming from Council reticulation systems has been treated and this is expensive.
  • Fix leaking taps & valves a soon as possible.
  • Conserving water helps the environment by leaving more water in streams & rivers.


  • Do not connect down pipes or stormwater drains to the sewerage system (gully traps).
  • Up to 75% of sewage pumped & treated during wet weather is directly related to stormwater infiltration. This costs Council (and ratepayers) thousands of dollars per year.


  • Don’t dispose of waste down stormwater drains.
  • Water running out onto the road ends up in our rivers & waterways. Wash the car on the grass, not the driveway.

How are we Doing?

Anticipated Environmental Results

Works & network utilities


  • AchievingAchieving
  • Progress towards achievementProgress towards achievement
  • Not AchieveingNot Achieving
  • Not MonitoredNot Monitored
Efficient use of land for utilities Not Monitored
The management of buffer areas around certain utilities Achieving
Efficient provision of infrastructure by Council Progress towards  achievement
Protection of land and assets from floods and poor drainage Not Monitored

Click here to learn more about District Plan Effectiveness and read the full report on Network Utilities

Useful Links

Ministry for the Environment

Ministry of Health

For More Information

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
Customer Services
Matamata-Piako District Council
PO Box 266, Te Aroha 3342
Phone: 07 884 0060
Fax: 07 884 8865