Auckland water crisis: Mayor Phil Goff would take more water from Waikato River despite iwi opposition

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says if the Government rushes through consent to draw more water from the Waikato River, he'll comply and do it whether local iwi like it or not.

Waikato-Tainui offered to help councillors find a long-term solution to water woes on Thursday but Goff says he and the 1.7 million Auckland residents need a solution now.

Aucklanders could face water restrictions for another year as the region continues to grapple with a severe drought and the council wants to draw an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River.

Waikato-Tainui chairperson Rukumoana Schaafhausen told Newshub they're willing to help but taking more water isn't on the agenda.

"Several hundred million litres of the water every day from the river - that's a significant impact," she said.

The iwi on Thursday offered to help councillors find a long-term solution since it has many descendants living in Auckland. It's an emotional issue with kaumatua among the delegation who made the offer.

"They give me the strength to come today because they want a solution. Enough's enough," Schaafhausen said. "They want to look after our people but they also want to protect the awa."

But Goff is looking for short-term solutions.

"Water is the source of life. And it's the source of life for Tamaki Makaurau too," he said.

He told reporters the city would use the fast-tracked consent, if granted by the Government, despite opposition from iwi.

"We've waited for seven years and we're still 106th in line."

The earliest extra water could come from the Waikato River is May 2021, and with the drought continuing, Aucklanders will likely face a water limit until then.

Although two weeks' worth of rain fell in Auckland on Wednesday night, it wasn't enough of a remedy for the shortage.

It added another three percent of water to the dams in the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges, but it still falls well short of normal levels.