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Water takes and bores

Water takes and bores

Updated 1 June 2022 4:47pm

Here you will find information about: 


Measuring and reporting water use                      back to top

Regulations for measuring and reporting water takes

Regulations came into force for measuring and reporting water take consents in November 2010. They have since been updated in September 2020. The Regulations require a water measuring device (water meter) to be installed on all water takes greater than 5 litres/sec. Consent holders are also required in the Regulations to install telemetry and supply water use data each day (unless and exemption is made and/or approval of weekly records is provided by the Regional Council). Every water meter is required to be verified (a test to check the accuracy of a water meter) every five years.

For existing water take consents, there is a transitional period for compliance with the updated Regulations. The timeframe for compliance depends on the size of your water take. From 3 September 2022 all water takes greater than 20 litres/sec are required to comply with the updated Regulations which require telemetered water use data to be provided on a daily basis.

Please note that the Regulations specify minimum requirements for measuring and reporting water use. It is important that you are familiar with your consent conditions as they may require you to undertake more specific and frequent measuring and reporting of water use.  

This quick guide for consent holders provides help for you to complying with the Regulations. Also see the Ministry for the Environment website for more detailed information

Submitting water use records

WATER USE enables consent holders to upload water meter readings via website entry. Download our WATER USE basic user guide to get started with uploading water meter readings. Please contact us if you are unsure of your customer number and password.

If you have a telemetry unit attached to your water meter, please contact us at and we can advise you on how your data can be transferred electronically to us.

You can also download the Water Use Records template for the 2021-2022 year (between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022) to record your water use. 

Water meters - installation, verification and data management

Irrigation NZ has developed the Water Measurement 'Blue Tick' Accreditation Programme, which GWRC supports. This programme identifies accredited service providers for installing and verifying water meters, and managing water use data. Using an accredited service provider gives confidence to water take consent holders that any water measurement undertaken is completed to a high standard and in accordance with best practice and minimum standards.

Download a list of accredited service providers in the Wellington region or view the Irrigation NZ website for the full list of accredited installers and verifiers.


Water restrictions                                                back to top

Water take restrictions are placed on takes from rivers, streams, and aquifers in order to protect minimum flows. It is important that water take consent holders check the conditions of their consent so that they are aware what they need to do to be compliant. Failure to comply with water restrictions may result in enforcement action. 

Current water restrictions can be viewed for each part of the region below:

Click here for rivers and streams east of the Ruamahanga River

Click here for Ruamahanga River and streams in Wairarapa valley

Click here for rivers west of the Ruamahanga River & Lake Wairarapa

Click here for Wellington and Porirua rivers and streams

Click here for Kapiti rivers and streams


Water allocation                                                  back to top

The Proposed Natural Resources Plan sets water allocation limits for a wide number of catchment management units in the region. The table below shows the limits and the amount of water currently allocated as at 31 January 2021

Ruamahanga Whaitua

Catchment management unit (surface water) PNRP limit (litres/sec) Allocation (litres/sec)
Ruamahanga (total) 7535 7156
Kopuaranga 180 150
Waipoua 145 116
Waingawa 920 1184
Ruamahanga (upper) 1200 858
Parkvale 40 128
Booths 25 109
Mangatarere 110 444
Waiohine 1590 797
Papawai 65 330
Ruamahanga (middle) 1240 1067
Huangarua 110 51
Ruamahanga (lower) 1475 1923
Lake Wairarapa 1800 1681
Otukura 30 73
Tauherenikau 410 249
Catchment management unit (groundwater) PNRP limit (m3/year) Allocation (m3/year)
Te Ore Ore 480,000 1,318,899
Waingawa 1,900,000 1,004,288
Upper Ruamahanga 3,550,000 588,707
Fernhill-Tiffen 1,200,000 1,200,000
Taratahi 1,400,000 543,566
Parkvale (confined) 1,550,000 2,162,700
Parvkale (unconfined) 350,000 340,200
Mangatarere 2,300,000 3,171,413
Tauherenikau 6,600,000 8,619,937
Lake 6,750,000 10,966,923
Huangarua 650,000 973,032
Martinborough 800,000 786,863
Dry River 650,000 570,066
Onoke 2,100,000 1,933,566

Wellington Harbour & Hutt Valley Whaitua

Catchment management unit (surface water) PNRP limit (litres/sec) Allocation (litres/sec)
Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River 2140 2429
Wainuiomata 180 1131
Orongorongo 95 1132
Catchment management unit (groundwater) PNRP limit (m3/year) Allocation (m3/year)
Upper Hutt 770,000 387,076
Lower Hutt 36,500,000 31,456,804

Kapiti Coast Whaitua

Catchment management unit (surface water) PNRP limit (litres/sec) Allocation (litres/sec)
Waitohu 45 8
Otaki 1970 354
Mangaone 45 24
Waikanae 220 491
Catchment management unit (groundwater) PNRP limit (m3/year) Allocation (m3/year)
Raumati 1,229,000 1,077,560
Waikanae 2,710,000 2,424,215
Te Horo 1,620,000 635,437
Waitohu 1,080,000 98,326


Bores                                                                   back to top

Consents for constructing a bore

Under Rule 15 of the Regional Freshwater Plan the construction of a bore requires a resource consent. You can apply using our application forms

Once you have obtained a resource consent, it is important that you submit a Bore/Well Log Form within one month of your bore being constructed. 

Aquifer testing guidelines

GWRC has developed aquifer test guidelines for the Wellington region. These guidelines will need to be followed in the investigation and preparation of resource consents applications for taking groundwater. An aquifer test analysis tool has also been developed for the region. 


Water Bottling Consents  

Due to recent interest in water bottling consents, GWRC has pulled together information relating to water bottling consents and how freshwater is managed in the Wellington region. You can find more information on our Water Bottling Consents information page