Projects / Eastern Hills Reservoir Project

Eastern Hills Reservoir Project

The proposal
All Updates

We're working with Hutt City Council on a proposal to build a new reservoir in Naenae/Fairfield to ensure Lower Hutt's water needs can be met.

Start Date

If you have any questions about this work, please contact:

Wellington Water, 04 912 4400

Latest Updates

10 May 2024

Submissions have now closed on the notice of requirement (NOR) for the new reservoir.

9 April 2024

The public is now invited to have their say on the proposed new Eastern Hills water reservoir.

26 March 2024

We have lodged a notice of requirement (NOR) with Hutt City Council for a new designation to construct and operate the new reservoir.

Why do we need a second reservoir?

Lower Hutt’s water supply network is vulnerable to disruption and needs to improve its water supply resilience.

Building a new reservoir will improve the resilience of Lower Hutt's water supply ensuring that water needs can be adequately met in the case of a significant earthquake or weather event. It will also reduce disruption on a day-to-day basis for network maintenance, repairs and upgrades and cater for Lower Hutt’s future growth needs.



What impacts will there be from noise, vibration, and truck movements?

There will be some noise and vibration impact from the construction works and associated vehicle movements.

While we are still in the early stages of design and planning, so do not yet have the detail, we can confirm that noise levels will be limited to comply with the requirements of NZS 6803:1999 ‘Acoustics – Construction Noise.

Usually as part of the consent process, a Noise and Vibration Monitoring Plan needs to be approved and the agreed requirements in the plan monitored throughout the duration of the works.

Typically working hours will be limited to 7am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 7.30am to 12.30pm Saturday. But these may be stipulated as part of the consent conditions. Approvals may also be granted for working outside of these hours factoring in the type of work proposed, the likely noise generated by the work and any resource consent limitations. 

What’s involved in installing the pipework that goes down the hillside to Balgownie Grove for the proposed stormwater outfall?

The pipework from the reservoir down the hillside reservoir to Balgownie Grove will be underground. We are still in the early design and planning stages of the project so have yet to determine the methods of construction, but it could be open trenched, directionally drilled down the slope or a combination of both.

Likewise, it is yet to be determined whether the pipe crossing of Waiwhetu Stream will be above ground or below the stream bed. 

We will be working with contractor representatives, ecologists and landscape architects to confirm appropriate construction methodologies and mitigations to ensure impacts are minimised.

Public feedback is also an important part of this and will help inform our final design and construction methodology.

Will the earthworks mean public access limits for walkers and cyclists in the earthworks area?

We are very aware that the firebreak track from the top of Summit Road is popular with walkers and cyclists. Safety is a top priority for Wellington Water and our contractors, so it will be necessary to close this portion of the track so we can complete the proposed works safely and efficiently. This would be for a two-to-three-year construction period. Public access will be reinstated on completion of the works. 

However, there are alternative access points to the ridge tracks via Judd Crescent, Seddon Street and Te Whiti Park and these will be highlighted on public signage in the area during the works.

Part of the consent application involves a recreation assessment which will consider these alternative routes in more detail.


How will Waiwhetu Stream be affected by the proposed run-off pipe from the reservoir?

The run-off pipe is provided to safely discharge any unplanned overflow from the reservoir should this occur due to control failure or other operational problem – which would be an infrequent occurrence.  The pipe will also be used when the reservoir is drained for planned maintenance, again an infrequent occurrence. 

On-site stormwater from the reservoir roof and surrounding platform will also be discharged via this pipeline – and any additional stormflow to Waiwhetu Stream will be relatively minor.  This will be specifically addressed through the resource consent process.

How will safety on the roads be managed around the worksite with the increased truck movements in suburban roads?

Safety is a top priority for Wellington Water and our contractors.  Traffic management plans will be prepared for the works and their implementation will be audited on a regular basis.  Speeding construction vehicles and other unsafe driving behaviours will not be tolerated.

How does this proposal fit with all the Three Waters reform process?

Our focus is progressing the development for Hutt City Council. The Three Water reform process is being managed separately by Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and we are unable to comment on the outcome and impact that a future entity will have on Hutt City Council’s capital work programme.

The fact is that Lower Hutt needs additional reservoir storage to cater for growth and increasing demand for water, to reduce impacts on customers from network maintenance activity and repairs, as well as providing safe drinking water that is critical to community survival, service restoration, and recovery following a large earthquake.

As such, this work is a priority for Hutt City Council and is consistent with national objectives to provide safe, reliable drinking water services.

Aren’t the Eastern Hills a Significant Natural Area and what does that mean for the proposed reservoir?

Hutt City Council has classified the Eastern Hills as a Significant Natural Area (SNA) with significant native vegetation and habitats. SNAs are protected under the Resource Management Act (RMA). This will be taken into account in our specialist assessments and planning applications.

What we're doing

We are proposing to build a new reservoir immediately behind the existing reservoir on Summit Road, Naenae. A delivery pipeline will also be built to distribute water to residents and businesses.

The proposed new reservoir is part of a long term programme of works that includes upgrades of the existing Naenae, Taita and Gracefield reservoirs to increase storage capacity and improve seismic resilience. 

Why have we chosen this site?

Wellington Water investigated 28 possible sites for the proposed new reservoir. A site next to the current Naenae Reservoir on Summit Road, Fairfield, has been identified as the preferred location because:

  • It is at the required elevation
  • The existing reservoir infrastructure and road access offers efficiencies
  • Undeveloped land is available to construct a reservoir and allow for landscaping to reduce visual impact
  • It is located close to a developed access way
  • No additional fault line crossings
  • It provides better value for money than other options looked at

About the proposed reservoir

The new reservoir would be able to store 15 million litres of water, providing drinking water to more than 50,000 residents and improving access to safe drinking water following a major earthquake.

The preferred location is next to the existing Naenae Reservoir - an 11.3 million litre square reservoir that will be retained in service. 

Building a new reservoir will require earthworks and vegetation clearance, all areas will be replanted with the exception of the access road through the site and around the perimeter of the reservoir. Taller planting will occur around the reservoir to help screen the visual impact. 

  • Storage volume of 15 million litres of water - (equivalent to six Olympic sized swimming pools), providing drinking water to more than 50,000 residents and improving access to safe drinking water following a major earthquake.
  • 55 metres in diameter and 8 metres high.
  • Substantial earthworks, in the realm of 60,000 cubic metres or more are needed to create a platform where the reservoir will be constructed.
  • 2 – 3 year construction period.
  • Delivery pipeline approximately 1 km long

The design process will be flexible to allow for innovation and efficiencies as we work through the detailed design and construct process.


All Updates

10 May 2024

Submissions have now closed on the notice of requirement (NOR) for a new designation under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to construct and operate the proposed new Eastern Hills water reservoir.

Hutt City Council is currently considering the submissions.


9 April 2024

Wellington Water has lodged a notice of requirement (NOR) for a new designation under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) with
Hutt City Council to construct and operate the proposed new Eastern Hills water reservoir.

The Council has notified the application and the public has until Friday, 3 May 2024 to make a submission.

Come along to a community drop in-session to learn more about the project. Our team of experts will be there to have a chat and answer your questions ahead of submissions closing.

Tuesday 23 April, 4pm to 6:30pm 

St Paul’s Church Hall, 76 Waiwhetu Road, Waterloo

  • View the NOR application HERE
  • Make a submission on the NOR HERE
26 March 2024

We have lodged the Notice of Requirement (NOR) with Hutt City Council for a designation to construct and operate the proposed reservoir.

We are now waiting for the Council to publicly notify the NOR allowing residents and other interested parties to make submissions on the application.

We will hold a public drop-in session during the notification period allowing people to learn more about the project and have their questions answered by our experts.

We will provide details around this once the Council has notified the NOR.


29 June 2023

To help inform design of the new Eastern Hills Reservoir project, we want to better understand the impacts this project may have on people and their way of life.

We'd love to hear from you if have some thoughts to share - especially if you're from the local community of Naenae and Fairfield suburbs.

Please let us know by completing this online survey 


14 March 2023

Your feedback helps inform development of the resource consent for the project. We expect to lodge consent applications later this year.

Also check out FAQs based on  community feedback about the proposal - under the Background menu!


2 March 2023

Drop-in session 1: 5.30pm – 7.30pm, Thursday 9 March 

Drop-in session 2: 9am – 12pm, Saturday 11 March  

Where: CoCo Pop Up Community Space, 11 Hillary Court, Naenae

Come and find out more about the proposed new reservoir and resource consent

Can’t make it to our drop-in sessions? Send us your feedback or ask us a question.

Please email: