Raupunga villagers to get running water

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The small Māori village of Raupunga in Hawke's Bay is about to hit a major milestone, with the villagers set to have running water for the first time ever.

"It's exciting because it's a new scheme and it's the first time that the Ngāti Pahauwera people at Raupunga are actually going to have potable water," says engineer Leigh Aitken.

Aitken says it is going to make a huge difference to the lives of the people who live there, "some of these people live on a bucket of water a week I don't know how they live here."

There will be 9km of pipeline drawing water from the Mangawharangi Stream, known to locals as the healing waters, an electric pump system that is set to be up and running in a couple of weeks.

It will be able to supply water to 56 houses along Putere Road and the settlement of Raupunga intended to cater for a population of 266 people in 2033.

It comes with an almost $1 million price tag, a project made possible by the perseverance of the water committee who have battled for 10 years to make it a reality.

"We had to find it all up front and that's the best way to do it, then the maintenance really takes care of itself so that's not a burden on the community as well," explains water committee member Charlie Lambert.

"It is a user pays system so everyone is going to have contribute to the on-going maintenance of it."

The new system will be life changing for the small settlement that will now be able to have running water that is safe to drink.