Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 10, October 1968
By M. W. PARKER
The Paeroa Water Supply was instituted under the Mining Act about 1898 by a loan of £7,235 and a special rating district was created which comprised what was later to be the whole of the Paeroa Borough and portion of the Ohinemuri County in the immediate vicinity. The Paeroa Borough Council was formed in 1915, but the Ohinemuri County Council maintained the supply over the whole district, until 30 June 1920. At that date the P.B.C. purchased the reticulation in the Borough from the O.C.C. for £1,500. It also assumed control over the water supply in the Borough from that date and by deed of agreement, dated 2nd September 1920, to purchase the water in bulk at the Borough boundary on the Waihi Road. Its population in 1920 was about 1640 (now 3140). There were 256 consumers within the Borough and 57 outside.
In a report on the Paeroa Water Supply, dated 12-2-1916, Mr. E. F. Adams, Civil and Mining Engineer, of Thames, stated that the supply was drawn from a watershed reserve of approximately 1,500 acres. Council held the rights to divert water from the branches of the Tarariki Stream, (Coal Creek and Green's Creek). The supply at that time was drawn entirely from Coal Creek, and the report stated that Green's Creek was required during the dry summer months, so a dam was built on there in 1929 to fully develop the catchment area.
The County continued to supply the Borough with water from Tarariki Stream until 31-12-1959, when the Waitawheta Scheme came into operation. [See Journal 4: Waitawheta Water Supply - E] With the imminent cessation of Borough demand, requests for farm reticulation had become more pressing and the O.C.C, approved of a scheme installing a piped rural water supply for farm lands north and south of Paeroa to serve an area of approximately 11,000 acres, of which 4,500 acres was already reticulated. The estimated cost was £53,000.
After the Government had approved a subsidy of up to £8,850 a poll of ratepayers was taken on the proposal to raise a loan of £44,150 to provide Council's share of extending and renewing the reticulation, carried by 139 votes to 93. The new metered supply, known as the Ohinemuri Water Supply, came into operation in August 1965. During the year ended 30-9-1967, almost 49½ million gallons of water was used by 186 consumers.