Official Information Request - 30 January 2020


Sent: Monday, 24 February 2020 3:46 pm
Subject: LGOIMA request - rain water tank use and council regulations and practices

I refer to your email of 30 January 2020 regarding the above, and provide responses to your questions below:

  1. Does your council allow the collection and retention of rainwater from a house roof for domestic use?
    The Building Code does not restrict the use of rainwater retention and its use for domestic purposes.

  2. Does the council set limits on what this water can be used for?
    The Building Code requires appropriate treatment/protection when the water is potable.

  3. How actively is the collection of rainwater encouraged - including via tools like bylaws?
    No bylaws are in place to dictate the collection of rainwater.

  4. What concerns does the council have about a homeowner collecting and using rainwater – other than health concerns (contamination from animal or birds or their faeces)?
    The Building Code requires that where rainwater is to be used for non-potable purposes the system must be configured to avoid cross contamination with potable water.

  5. How much money does the council intend to spend on upgrading water supplies (reticulation infrastructure, treatment stations etc) for domestic household use in the next five years?
    2019/20 to 2023/24
    Capital renewals $15.0 million
    Capital improvements $9.5 million

Rotorua Lakes Council has ten separate water supplies – three urban (covering Rotorua city) and seven rural.  All connections in the rural supplies are metered, as are all commercial/industrial connections in the urban supplies.  Domestic connections in the urban supplies are unmetered and water is charged as a flat targeted rate for these.

Council has considered the costs and benefits of universally water metering several times and to date has resolved not to go down this path.

We do carry out an annual water conservation advertising programme, and employ a sustainability advisor whose duties include education on water conservation.

We do not have any formal mechanisms to encourage or require incorporating water savings features such as roof water tanks or grey water re-use systems into new housing.

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Complaints can be sent by email to, by fax to (04) 471 2254, or by post to The Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143.

Publication of responses to LGOIMA requests

Please note: Our LGOIMA responses may be published on the Rotorua Lakes Council website after they have been responded to, with requesters' personal details withheld. If you have any concerns about this please contact the Council on .



​Jean-Paul Gaston     Manahautū Rautaki | Group Manager, Strategy
Waea: 07 351 8302  | Waea pūkoro0276554415
ĪmeraJean-​  |
Taunga: 1061 Haupapa St, Private Bag 3029, Rotorua Mail Centre, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand ​


Page reviewed: 25 Feb 2020 4:11pm