Water supply group member Ernest Johnston and Arowhenua
Marae manager Mandy Home by the existing bore and tank.
Arowhenua is to benefit from a $65,000 upgrade of its
The small South Canterbury community is one of 44 communities
nationwide receiving $7 million this year from the
government's Drinking Water Assistance Programme.
First announced in 2005, the programme provides
infrastructural funding of $150 million over 10 years to
improve water quality in small communities.
Arowhenua Marae manager Mandy Home said the community's water
group had applied for the funding on the suggestion of a
public health worker who tested their water supply in April.
Mrs Home said she was pleased the application had been
successful and the upgrade would be welcome news to the
residents of the community's 47 households.
Although their water quality was excellent, the community's
bore and water tank dated from 1952 and had reached the end
of their useful lives, Mrs Home said.
Increased water use for irrigation by nearby farms had
lowered the water level, and pressure was so low that
residents could not use sprinklers to water their gardens and
had to wait a long time just to fill up their washing
A deeper well would improve pressure and lower the risk of
contamination, she said.
The funds would be used to drill a bore - hopefully as soon
as October - build a tank and install equipment for UV light
treatment if necessary.
The existing concrete tank would be retained as an emergency
Residents would continue to pay $75 a year to maintain the
water system, she said.
Associate Minister of Health Mita Ririnui said he was pleased
more than $1.5 million of the funding would be allocated to
upgrading drinking water supplies at 23 marae and Maori
‘‘Together with the $1.3 million that was provided to nine
marae and Maori communities in 2007 and $3 million earlier
this year, this is a significant investment in Maori health.
‘‘Safe, clean water is central to the principle of
‘‘This programme ensures the quality of drinking water in
Maori communities will be vastly improved,'' Mr Ririnui said.