Historic drinking water pipes in Bell Block get million-dollar upgrade

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New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has begun work on a $1million project replacing more than half a kilometre of the aging water pipes in Bell Block over the next six months.  

The new pipes will be from polythene plastic which is 100 per cent recyclable and highly durable.

“The current asbestos pipes date back to the 1970s and the work is part of the $248 million investment in Fixing the Plumbing in the 2021-31 10-year budget,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

“It follows the $10 million investment replacing half of the Inglewood’s water pipes, two new reservoirs built in Henwood and Mountain roads, a $20m Waitara stormwater upgrade and a $2m project to upgrade 90 per cent of Urenui’s water pipes.”

The project will be carried out in stages to minimise impacts on locals and it’s a significant location for Puketapu hapū who are working with NPDC during earthworks.  Traffic controls will be in place to allow digging and drilling to go ahead safely while public access for residents and local businesses continues.

The new pipes will be installed along Henwood Road, Nugent Street, Pohutukawa Place and Bell Block Court, ahead of a facelift for the roundabout next to the main shopping area.

Find out more on the Bell Block drinking water project here.



  • There are 800km of drinking water pipes in the New Plymouth District.
  • The district’s main water storage – Lake Mangamahoe – holds about 10 days’ worth of water.
  • On average we use 304 litres per person every day – that’s the same as five bathtubs full of water.

New Plymouth residential water consumption is up to 60 per cent higher than similar districts in New Zealand.