Kerikeri Retirement Village has raised “significant concerns” with Far North District Council (Council) about failing pressure in the water mains supplying its Care Facility and independent living retirement accommodation. The Village has experienced frequent periods of low water pressure since Tuesday last week (15 December) and has told Council that this could create risk and hardship for ill and vulnerable residents.
On Thursday last week (17 December) Council advised Kerikeri Retirement Village chief executive Hilary Sumpter that the failing water pressure could possibly be due to Council refilling the Waipapa Reservoir in advance of the Christmas break.
On Friday last week (18 December) Ms Sumpter told Council that the issue was worse than ever. In response Council advised her that there was a leak in the system, which was losing 100m3 an hour.
On Sunday last week (19 December) Council advised that the leak had been found and that repairs were being made.
The issue has continued throughout the day today, with Ms Sumpter advising Council that staff were battling to maintain hygiene standards in the Village. Council advised that it would get workers back onto the job to resolve the issue and offered to provide water in tankers.
“We appreciate the gesture but we aren’t able to operate effectively with water from tankers. The operational issues this situation creates are as much about water pressure as they are about supply.”
This afternoon Council said it would “try and prioritise (the Village’s) water between 7am and 10am, and 4pm and 7pm, as the issue seems to relate to the Waipapa reservoir.” It said this would be a short-term fix-as it was still looking for the root cause of the issue.
“Council does appear to be taking this seriously, for which we are very grateful,” Ms Sumpter said. She also thanked Village residents for their patience and understanding and said she and her staff would continue to press Council to fix the underlying issue.
“We’re keenly aware of the issues involved and can assure residents that we’re doing everything in our power to ensure that Council takes this matter seriously and puts a fix in place sooner rather than later,” she said. “In the meantime, please go easy on our staff. They’re not responsible for this issue.”