Te Anau wastewater scheme

Where we are at now

Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) consent

We have a consent for subsurface drip irrigation and can now start work on all the elements that are part of the project.


Work on the pipeline is going well, with two teams from Fulton Hogan and Te Anau Earthwork building from both ends. More than half of the pipeline will go through Landcorp farms, which will minimise disruption to the public. The rest is in road reserve and so there will be minor disruption at various times especially around Sandy Brown Road and along the state highway to Manapouri.

Kepler site preparation

Work has been completed on preparing the site. This has included removal of shelter belts and replanting. New fencing has been installed around the site and an accessway constructed from the state highway.

New pasture will be sown within the next month with a seed mixture suitable for maximising nutrient uptake.

Future milestones

  • Grassing of the Kepler disposal field block 121ha – November 2019
  • SDI consent granted – November 2019
  • Completion of the main pipe line installation – February 2020
  • Work likely to start on current waste water treatment and ponds site for membrane building and civil works – February/March 2020
  • Completion of ancillary works under the main pipeline contract – May 2020
  • Consent application for extension of present discharge consent to allow for completion and commissioning of new plant – May 2020
  • Completion of the SDI disposal field underground pipe work and head works – September 2020
  • Start of commissioning for new membrane plant, pipe line and SDI disposal field – November 2020


Treated wastewater from the Te Anau oxidation ponds is currently discharged in the Upukerora River. The consent for this expires in 2020 and it has been signalled for some time that Council needs to find a different way of disposing of it.

Early discussions with key stakeholders settled on the need to dispose the treated wastewater to land and Council got a consent to do that via centre pivot irrigation at the Kepler Block in 2015. Members of the community continued to raise a number of concerns about where and how the treated wastewater was to be disposed of.

Further work on other potential locations highlighted the Kepler Block was still the most suitable site. Council then carried out a comparison of centre pivot irrigation and subsurface drip irrigation. Council subsequently decided late last year to apply for a resource consent for subsurface drip irrigation.

You can download the business case report and relevant attachments by clicking on the document links below. 

  1. Report Business Case - Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Method - Kepler Block [PDF, 593 KB]
  2. Te Anau Wastewater Business Case - September 2018 [PDF, 3.7 MB]
  3. SDI Basis of Design - Te Anau Wastewater Scheme [PDF, 8.3 MB]
  4. Aqualinc Memo - Te Anau WWT Irrigation – Storage Requirements and Frequency [PDF, 1.1 MB]
  5. Avisure - Irrigation Te Anau Bird Strike Assessment [PDF, 5.3 MB]
  6. Legal Advice - Kepler and Upukerora Consents for Te Anau Wastewater Treatment Plant [PDF, 293 KB]