Current restrictions


To read the latest update on all water supplies in the Tararua District, click here.

Current restrictions








No towns are on this restriction. 

Restriction definitions 

Alternate day restriction means:

Outdoor water use only on alternate days, i.e. houses with even street numbers on even days and houses with odd street numbers on odd days.

Alternate evening restriction means:

Outdoor water use only on alternate evenings between 7pm - 9pm.

Total outdoor ban means:

You may not:

  • Use sprinklers
  • Use soak hoses
  • Use irrigation systems
  • Hose of gardens
  • Wash vehicles, buildings or boats

You may:

  • Use buckets and watering cans to water gardens 

Essential use only means:

You may not:

  • Use water anywhere outside (unless is it recycled water/greywater)

You may:

  • Use water for cleaning and cooking
  • Use water to wash clothes and take showers  

Latest updates

Monday, 18 January 2021: High Water Use in Norsewood Tightens Restrictions

Water use in Norsewood has been steadily increasing over the holidays and there is now a need to increase restrictions. 

Norsewood will move to “Alternate Evening” water restrictions, effective immediately. 

This means:

  • Outdoor water use is restricted to between 7pm-9pm
  • Odd numbered houses (1, 3, 7 etc) can use on odd numbered days
  • Even numbered houses (2, 4, 6 etc) can use on even numbered days

Council will continue to monitor water use daily and is urging Norsewood residents to conserve as much water as possible. 

Without a significant drop in water use, Council will need to increase restrictions to a “Total Outdoor Ban” to ensure that there is a continuous supply of water over summer. 

Council will ensure that residents are notified of the change in restriction by delivering posters throughout the Norsewood township, notifying schools and early childcare centres, and by sharing the information on the Council website and Facebook, as well as in the local Bush Telegraph newsletter. 

Residents are encouraged to:

  • Check for leaks and fix them (or report to Council if not on your property) 
  • Check out the Council website for basic water saving tips (or search the web for more in-depth tips)
  • Consider installing water harvesting systems to capture rainwater for outdoor use

Tuesday, 1 December 2020: Alternate Day Restrictions Implemented Early

As we all know, Tararua District experienced a difficult summer last year when it comes to water. Our rural communities dealt with drought conditions and urban users experienced increased water restrictions compared to previous years.  Unfortunately, these conditions are potentially our ‘new normal’ so Council has been reviewing how we need to manage our finite water resources. 

As part of this review we have decided to implement the first level of water restrictions, alternate day use, earlier than usual in order to reduce the risk of more severe restrictions later in summer.

Alternate day restrictions are therefore being implemented district wide from 1 December 2020.

An important note: While it is tempting to see periods of rain as meaning we can ease restrictions, this is not so.  While rain can allow Council to resume its water take it is usually only for short periods of time, sometimes only hours.  Often the rivers become turbid (dirty) meaning water cannot be taken and processed until it settles down and the effect of the rain has often passed by then.  Periods of rain over summer should be seen as opportunities to fill home storage tanks and to not have to water gardens.

Why do we need restrictions at all?

Tararua District Council, like any other significant water user, must obtain a consent to take water from a variety of sources like rivers or bores.  The consent process is managed by Horizons Regional Council.  Each consent provides the limits of water Council can draw given prevailing river flows.  During dry periods over summer some of the consents reduce the amount of water that can be taken, in some cases to zero.

The reductions in allowable water take during dry periods is the reason Council has invested in water storage (reservoirs and impounded supplies) in recent years.  This storage is like insurance to help avoid severe water restrictions across the district.

An example of how important water storage is comes from last summer in Woodville.  Without the outstanding effort of the Woodville community to conserve water, combined with the new storage, Woodville almost certainly would have had the most severe level of water restrictions imposed – emergency use only.

What are the water restriction levels?

 Facebook Post - Water Restrictions.jpg

Get ready – No restrictions are enforced, however educational material on water conservation is shared though Councils channels.

Alternate Day – Outdoor water use is restricted to alternate days. Odd numbered days for odd numbered houses and vice versa.

Alternate Evening – Hand-held hoses are only allowed on alternate days between 7pm and 9pm.

Total Outdoor Ban – No outdoor use. All irrigation systems, hoses and sprinklers are banned.

Essential Use Only – Household water is to be used for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene ONLY. (This is subject to the nature and extent of the emergency).

New Water Restriction Signage

As part of reviewing the water shortages of last summer, Council has implemented new water restriction levels and will shortly be installing new signage to let our communities know current restriction levels. 

Council will also keep water restriction levels current on it’s website and notify changes on Facebook. 

While we all hope we don’t experience the same conditions as last summer, Council is taking the prudent approach of commencing low level water restrictions early to try to avoid more severe impacts later in summer. 

If we all play our part in conserving water and following the water restriction levels we are confident the severest of water restrictions can be avoided again this year.