Major leak in Hawke's Bay town Waipukurau results in level four water restrictions

A Hawke's Bay town was placed on the tightest possible water restrictions on Wednesday after the discovery of a major leak.  

Waipukurau residents were told to immediately conserve water due to the critical risk of the town running dry. 

The town's locals were frantically stocking up on water after being plunged into tough level four restrictions earlier in the morning.  

"I saw the restrictions online and so I'm trying to cut back on using the tap water," one person said. 

"There was a car that came down our street with a megaphone saying there was a water shortage," another said. 

One broken pipe was the culprit. 

"We lost a huge amount of water, the equivalent of 500 cubic metres of water per minute was running out through this leak," Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker said. 

At one point on Wednesday, water levels dropped to just 25 percent - prompting the council to issue a desperate plea.

"Please don't run your dishwasher, please don't run your washing machine, please don't put your sprinkler on, and if you need to have a shower make it really quick," Walker stressed.  

However, that didn't go down well with all locals. 

"Ninety-nine percent of this earth is made of water why on earth is there a shortage," one person told Newshub.

"Hopefully they can get the issue sorted sooner rather than later and we can get back on track," another added.  

"We have old infrastructure like much of New Zealand and what we've been doing for the last few years is targeting investment into that," Walker explained.  

The good news is the leak has been now isolated, meaning locals may not need to stock up on water.  

The council hopes to lift the water restrictions by this week.