16 Jul 2019

Ohakune residents told to boil water

4:25 pm on 16 July 2019

A boil-water notice in Ōhakune might stay in force until next week if the rain doesn't stop.

A jug boiling water.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Three days of heavy rain and strong winds over the central North Island prompted a boil water notice to be issued for Ōhakune residents last night.

Ruapehu District Council says the large volume of water has caused problems for Ōhakune's water treatment plant.

Water used for food preparation, brushing teeth and baby formula must be boiled for at least two minutes, and special care should be taken with infants, the elderly and sick people, it said.

The council said it is disinfecting the drinking water but the standard throughout the network cannot be guaranteed.

Paul Wheatcroft, from Ruapehu District Council, said it could be a while before things got back to normal.

"It could well be next before we can lift that notice. There is more bad weather forecast unfortunately, so if this scenario is unlikely to change we won't be able to start replenishing the reservoirs for a couple of days yet."

Mr Wheatcroft said the town got a lot of visitors for the school holidays.

MetService said there has been flooding and slips in the central and western parts of the North Island today.

New Plymouth recorded 17mm of rain between 4am and 5am, and Hawera has hit by nearly 100/km per hour gusts at the same time.