It was a drizzly day in Warkworth last month when Mayor Phil Goff cut the ribbon for the official opening of Watercare’s $25m water treatment plant on Sanderson Road.
A representative of Ngāti Manuhiri led a group of engineers and officials in seeking the protection of Waawaia – a taniwha believed to have looked after waka travelling on the Mahurangi River.
At that moment, the heavens opened and it rained, ending the big dry felt by the region for the previous six weeks.
“Mayor breaks drought in Warkworth,” Mr Goff quipped.
Watercare north water production manager Shannon Palmer said a test had found that the water in the aquifer that the plant draws from is 176 years old.
It will deliver 3000 cubic metres of water a day and can produce up to 8000 if needed.
Watercare claims also to have been successful, where previous councils have failed, in sinking a bore in Wellsford and finding water. Ms Palmer says tests on the water have begun and the public can expect an update in about a year.