Water shortages in Westport and Carter's Beach have eased, but the mayor of Buller says there is a long way to go before they find a long-term solution.
Water supply to homes and businesses have been restricted to essential use only, after the failure several months ago of the ageing supply network.
Mayor Garry Howard said the collapse of one of the supply tunnels had required water to be pumped from a reservoir that was currently 80 percent full.
"We've got a long way to go to get to a comfortable position with summer looming and potential dry spells. We want the reservoir to go to 100 percent, and would only feel comfortable when we've got our primary supply on stream and going through the tunnels."
Mr Howard said the council would hold a special meeting soon to consider options, but fixing the 1200-metre long tunnel remained the preferred solution.