Omāroro Reservoir

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Update 8 March 2019

We are currently progressing with the detailed design of the Omāroro Reservoir, and as part of this there are some design aspects that we would like to discuss with the community.

These aspects are important as they will be part of the legacy of the project and visible to residents and park users.

We are keen for your feedback on:
• The design treatment of the entry to the pipe tunnel which will be visible from the upper field and top of Rolleston Street
• The final layout of Rolleston Street
• Some of the walking paths that currently traverse the site

We will be holding a meeting on Thursday 14 March from 6pm – 7.30pm in the Executive Suite, Massey University, Wallace Street.

On other aspects of the project, we are awaiting final funding approval from Wellington City Council before we sign the construction contract for the Wallace Street pipework. We expect to have the opportunity to introduce the contractor to the community in mid April.

We are also in the process of creating the Community Reference Group for the project and will be liaising with Mt Cook Mobilised and others in the community to seek representatives for this important group.

Update 15 October 2018

Detailed design of the proposed Omāroro reservoir and development of the management plans are underway, in keeping with the conditions of the Notice of Requirement.

Meanwhile, the tender process for the programme of pipeline enabling works along Wallace Street is proceeding, with a contractor expected to be confirmed and work to commence before the end of the year.

Once a contractor is in place, Wellington Water will be consulting further with affected residents and businesses to finalise traffic management plans.

Update 7 June 2018

The Omāroro Reservoir project has achieved a major milestone, successfully completing the Resource Management Act phase of the project.

The Environment Court has confirmed that no appeals have been lodged for the Notice of Requirement, following the hearings commissioners’ recommendation in April that the Wellington City Council approve the NOR.

This means the designation can now be included within the Wellington District Plan pursuant to s175 RMA.

This is an excellent outcome for the RMA phase of this regionally significant project. The next steps will be to undertake the detailed design of the reservoir and develop the management plans in keeping with the NOR requirements.


Update 12 April 2018

Following hearings in March, the Independent Commissioners have recommended Wellington City Council approve the applications for the notice of requirement for a designation (NOR) and supporting resource consent application (RCA) for the proposed Prince of Wales/Omāroro reservoir.

The recommendations come with a series of consent conditions to mitigate some specific construction impacts and long-term impacts of the project. These conditions are now being aligned to ensure consistency with those in the Town Belt Act easement.

A vote from councillors is expected shortly, subject to which the project will then need Council funding approval under its long-term strategic plan. Consultation on the plan is expected mid-2018.


Check out the commissioners report [PDF].


Update 1 March 2018

Prince of Wales/Omāroro hearings commence

Wellington City Council consent hearings on the notice of requirement for a designation (NOR) and supporting resource consent application (RCA) for the proposed Prince of Wales/Omāroro reservoir will take place on 5th and 6th March.

The panel of independent commissioners will then consider the applications and make recommendations to the council.

Subject to the decision, the project will still be subject to funding approval from the council as part of its long-term strategic plan, on which consultation is expected mid-2018.  The council have identified this as a key resilience project

Update 20 December 2017

Ahead of the Resource Consent hearings, following feedback from residents and submitters, Wellington Water commissioned Beca to undertake the preliminary design of earthworks and potential retaining wall options for the lower playing field associated with the Omāroro / Prince of Wales Reservoir construction. As part of this commission we have undertaken geotechnical investigations and analyses to inform the design and associated costings.

Full copies of the reports available here 

Update 3 October 2017

Third Open Day completed for Omāroro Reservoir 

Wellington Water hosted the third Public Open Day for the proposed Omāroro Reservoir on Saturday, 30 September.

The Open Day was an opportunity for the community to learn more about the project and how to get involved in the Resource Management Act process - now underway with Wellington Water, on behalf of WCC, having lodged applications with the WCC under the RMA on 15 September.

Around 30 locals turned up between 11am and 3pm to gather information and ask questions with our experts on hand.

The Omāroro application (Notice of Requirement for a Designation under the RMA) was notified on Thursday, 28th September. Submissions close on 4.30pm, Friday 27th October.

 Any person can make a submission by visiting

Below is a copy of the presentation boards from the day. 



POW up hill view4

Update 27 September 2017

Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council will be notifying the consent applications on 28 September 2017.  The documents can be viewed here:

  • Notice of Requirement for a designation (NOR) to develop and operate the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir within the Prince of Wales Park, with Wellington City Council, and 


  • Supporting Resource Consent application (RCA) with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, for the management of earthworks, groundwater dewatering and the management of discharges to land and water, required for development of the proposed reservoir. 


WCC and GWRC will be seeking submissions until 27 October 2017.  Submissions on the Applications can be made by:

  • Online
  • Email:
  • Post: Freepost 2199, Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir 178, Open Space and Recreation Planning, Wellington City Council, PO Box 2199, Wellington 6140

Closing date for submissions is 5pm, 27 October 2017.


Update: 19 September 2017

What’s next for the proposed Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir?

You’re invited to find out more about where we are at, and chat with Wellington Water experts at our next Public Open Day.

So, we’ve reached stage two of the application process, with WCC having granted permission under the Wellington Town Belt Act for the reservoir to be built in the Town Belt at Prince of Wales Park.

Now, Wellington Water, on behalf of WCC, has lodged applications under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Make time to pop in, ask the team questions and learn how you can be involved in the RMA process,

WHEN: 11am to 3pm, Saturday 30 September 2017.

Presentation and Q&A 12.30pm-1.30pm.

WHERE:  Executive Seminar Suite, Gate A, Massey University, Wallace Street, Mount Cook

PARKING: Available onsite

If you require disabled access to the venue email us at and we will ensure assistance is available.

Update: 28 August 2017

The Wellington City Council has unanimously granted an easement under the Wellington Town Belt Act s to construct and operate the proposed Prince of Wales park 35 million-litre concrete reservoir. 

This means we can now proceed to the next stage of lodging a resource consent under the Wellington City Council District Plan, which we expect to submit by mid to late September.

A public open day will be held as part of that process ensuring people have an opportunity to engage with the project team and have all the information they need to make submissions.


Wallace Street Corridor utilities mapped

Contractors have completed physical inspections to identify the source of underground cables and inlet and outflow water pipes to inform the proposed water network projects during the construction of the Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir.

Engineers will now commence design work of the project, including watermain and wastewater pipe renewals, and stormwater pipe upgrades.

The work is expected to be completed and ready to share with the community by the end of the year.  

Update: 24 June 2017

The Wellington City Council sought feedback on the proposal for the construction and operation of a new water reservoir at Prince of Wales Park on the Town Belt as part of our application for an easement. They received 37 submissions. The Council will now hold oral hearings on Thursday 3 August and 12 submitters have indicated that they would like to speak.

Update: 12 June 2017

We’re working on the next phase in the development of a water reservoir that will improve normal operational service and seismic resilience of Wellington city’s water supply, and increase emergency water storage for central Wellington.

The Prince of Wales Reservoir/Omāroro Reservoir will be a highly-resilient, 35 million-litre concrete reservoir that’ll service Wellington’s central business district, Newtown, and Mount Cook.

We're looking at the option of raising the upper and lower fields as a way of reducing the effects of the truck movements and vibration.  This will have the additional benefit of reducing the flooding that currently occurs from the Papawai Stream, and improves the recreational value of the fields.  If we are successful in obtaining the approval of WCC to locate, construct, operate and maintain the Omāroro reservoir within Prince of Wales Park under the Town Belt Act, and are able to proceed with the seeking Resource Management consents to develop the reservoir, there will be further assessment and analysis of the options between removing excess excavated fill and raising the fields. See the bottom of this page for the feasibility studies into the raising of the playing fields. 

Future activities include the detailed design of the reservoir and associated pipework, then building the reservoir and pipeline. Funding for these activities is not yet programmed but once construction begins, it is expected to take two years to build, including landscaping and reinstating the surrounding area.

We have lodged an Application for a Town Belt Easement with the Wellington City Council. The Council is currently seeking submissions on our Application.


Submissions on our Application for a Town Belt Easement can be made by:

  • Online
  • Email:
  • Post: Freepost 2199, Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir 178, Open Sapce and Recreation Planning, Wellington City Council, PO Box 2199, Wellington 6140

Closing date for submissions is 5pm, Monday 17 July 2017.

Application for Easement documents

At the bottom of this page is a series of documents for the Application for Town Belt Easement.  While the total document is over 1,000 pages, the key information is contained in the first document "Prince of Wales - Omāroro Reservoir - Town Belt Easement Request - Includes Applendix A". Hard copies are available of any of the documents, please email

Open days

We’re hosting a series of open days during this phase of the project to give residents and others an opportunity to talk with our team and find out more about the project.

The latest open day was held on Saturday 17 June 2017. See the bottom of the page for the information boards from this open day.

The first open day was held on Thursday 24 November 2016 (and a repeat session on  Sunday 11 December 2016). See the bottom of the page for the information boards from those open days.

Frequently asked questions

Why do we need a new reservoir?

The need for more water storage in central Wellington was identified in the 1970s. It’s important for a city to have enough stored water on hand to provide for about two days of normal use. Another way to look at it is having enough water available to meet peak demand (which is usually early evening) while providing enough water to fight a major fire (this is also about having suitable water pressure, which means storing water at the right height)
Right now in the Wellington CBD area, we don’t have enough stored water to meet these criteria. On top of that, significant growth is expected in this part of the city.
So this new reservoir will improve the operational resilience of the city’s water supply, meaning it will increase existing water storage levels and so allow us to carry out essential maintenance, repair and upgrade works of other reservoirs with minimal disruption to local water supply – as well as meet future demand.

How will the reservoir improve the city’s resilience in the event of disaster?

As well as coping with growth and normal operational needs, the new reservoir will be built to resist strong earthquakes - increasing the likelihood of having safe water available for the city in the event of a major earthquake or similar disaster.
All of the big pipelines carrying water into central Wellington cross major earthquake fault lines. Disruption to the city’s water supply is highly likely in the event of a severe earthquake. The new reservoir will be built to modern seismic standards and provide a secure water source in the event of disruption to normal water supplies. This is particularly important given that a major hospital is in this supply zone.

How big will the reservoir be?

The reservoir will hold 35 million litres of drinking water - enough to fill 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It’ll be approximately 67 metres across and have a water depth of 12 metres at the sides and 15 metres in the middle.

Why was the Prince of Wales Park chosen as the site?

After careful review of potential sites, the Prince of Wales Park ranked as the preferred site on economic, environmental, social, availability and cultural factors. All other options were also located in the Town Belt because the reservoir’s top water level must be high enough to maintain adequate water pressure to users.

What visual impact will the reservoir have?

The reservoir will be buried to match the existing landform as closely as practical so there will be little or no long-term visual impact.

How does the reservoir compare with others in Wellington?

It’ll be largest reservoir in Wellington. The next largest reservoir is Macalister Reservoir, built in 1992, which holds 20 million litres of water.

Will I still be able to use the park during construction?

Site access will be restricted during construction. Paths through the upper section of the park where the reservoir will be located will be out of action during construction. However, detour walking routes will be available so people will still be able to get to and from work or school, or enjoy a walk through the park. The upper playing field will be out of use during construction and the lower field might also be impacted by construction, but this can’t be confirmed until further investigations are carried out.

What opportunities will there be for me to have my say about the project?

We’ll keep the community informed about progress via the website, letters, advertising, meetings and open days. The consenting process provides an opportunity for people to make a submission on the project.

For more information email

Related documents

Appendix C - Part 1

6.2 MB | pdf | 02/06/17

Appendix C - Part 2

5.7 MB | pdf | 02/06/17

Appendix F Ecological Impact Assessment

7.3 MB | pdf | 01/06/17

Appendix H Cultural Impact Report

2 MB | pdf | 01/06/17

Appendix I Traffic Impact Assessment

3.1 MB | pdf | 01/06/17

Appendix L Stormwater Assessment

1.4 MB | pdf | 01/06/17

Prince of Wales - Omaroro - Addendum 1A

5.1 MB | pdf | 02/06/17

Prince of Wales - Omaroro - Addendum 1B

615 KB | pdf | 02/06/17

1. POW Reservoir - Welcome

641 KB | pdf | 25/11/16

3. POW Reservoir - The way we work

533 KB | pdf | 25/11/16

6. POW Reservoir - Project issues

55 KB | pdf | 25/11/16