Otama Rural Water Scheme Referendum

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

This referendum is to determine if consumers on the Otama Rural Water Scheme want to transfer control and ownership of the scheme from the Gore District Council to Otama Rural Water Limited. It will be binding.

The referendum follows a Local Member’s Bill, passed by Parliament in 2019, allowing ownership of the scheme to be transferred to a new company with directors appointed by the scheme’s consumers.

To enable consumers to make an informed decision, the following documents are available:

  • A report from the Medical Officer of Health
  • The transfer plan and proposed agreement outlining and roles and responsibilities of Otama Rural Water Ltd and any contractors (including the Council) in relation to the scheme
  • Assessment made by Otama Rural Water Ltd
  • A map of the area subject to the referendum

The documents can be viewed on this page. They are also available at the Council's main office, in Bowler Ave, or the Gore Library, in Jacob Street.


Who is eligible to vote in the referendum?

Consumers and residents living within the scheme boundary are eligible to vote. Anyone paying rates on a property within the boundary, but not living in the area, can also vote. Letters and enrolment forms will be sent to these people.

The preliminary electoral roll to be used for the referendum can be viewed at the Council's main office or Gore Library from Thursday 16 September. Updates to the preliminary electoral roll close at 4:00pm on Thursday 14 October.

Residential electors may enroll or amend their enrolment details on the electoral roll by:

  • Visiting the Electoral Commission website www.vote.nz
  • Call 0800 36 76 56
  • Freetext 3673

Applications for registration as a ratepayer elector must be made on the non-resident ratepayer elector enrolment form, which is available on this page.


How can people vote?

The referendum will be conducted under the First Past the Post (FPP) system.

Voter packs will be mailed on Thursday 18 November to people enrolled. Each pack includes a reply paid envelope for voting papers to be returned by post. Alternatively, voting papers can be hand delivered to ballot boxes at our main office or Gore Library. Voting is open from Thursday 18 November to Friday 10 December.


This referendum is to determine if consumers on the Otama Rural Water Scheme want to transfer control and ownership of the scheme from the Gore District Council to Otama Rural Water Limited. It will be binding.

The referendum follows a Local Member’s Bill, passed by Parliament in 2019, allowing ownership of the scheme to be transferred to a new company with directors appointed by the scheme’s consumers.

To enable consumers to make an informed decision, the following documents are available:

  • A report from the Medical Officer of Health
  • The transfer plan and proposed agreement outlining and roles and responsibilities of Otama Rural Water Ltd and any contractors (including the Council) in relation to the scheme
  • Assessment made by Otama Rural Water Ltd
  • A map of the area subject to the referendum

The documents can be viewed on this page. They are also available at the Council's main office, in Bowler Ave, or the Gore Library, in Jacob Street.


Who is eligible to vote in the referendum?

Consumers and residents living within the scheme boundary are eligible to vote. Anyone paying rates on a property within the boundary, but not living in the area, can also vote. Letters and enrolment forms will be sent to these people.

The preliminary electoral roll to be used for the referendum can be viewed at the Council's main office or Gore Library from Thursday 16 September. Updates to the preliminary electoral roll close at 4:00pm on Thursday 14 October.

Residential electors may enroll or amend their enrolment details on the electoral roll by:

  • Visiting the Electoral Commission website www.vote.nz
  • Call 0800 36 76 56
  • Freetext 3673

Applications for registration as a ratepayer elector must be made on the non-resident ratepayer elector enrolment form, which is available on this page.


How can people vote?

The referendum will be conducted under the First Past the Post (FPP) system.

Voter packs will be mailed on Thursday 18 November to people enrolled. Each pack includes a reply paid envelope for voting papers to be returned by post. Alternatively, voting papers can be hand delivered to ballot boxes at our main office or Gore Library. Voting is open from Thursday 18 November to Friday 10 December.


  • Consumers to vote on scheme ownership

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Otama Rural Water Scheme consumers will vote later this year on whether ownership and management of the scheme should be transferred to a company.

    Voting will be open from Thursday 18 November to Friday 10 December. The referendum follows a Local Member’s Bill, passed by Parliament two years ago, allowing ownership to be transferred from the Gore District Council to a company, with directors appointed by the scheme’s consumers.

    Otama Rural Water Ltd is the company seeking to take over ownership and management. The New Zealand Companies Office lists the sole shareholder as Thomas Logan Affleck, of Gore, who is one of nine directors.

    The company has prepared documentation about the transfer and future management plans for consumers. The Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack has also provided a detailed report.

    The referendum will be conducted under the First Past the Post system. It will be binding.

    Consumers and residents living within the scheme boundary are eligible to vote. Anyone paying rates on a property within the boundary, but not living in the area, can also vote.

    The preliminary electoral roll to be used for the referendum can be viewed at the Council's main office or Gore Library from Thursday 16 September.

    Residential electors may enrol or amend their details on the electoral roll by going to www.vote.nz Full details about the referendum and all supporting documents are available on Let's Talk.

    About the scheme

    The scheme was built in the 1970s by farmers. It is jointly managed by the Gore District Council and Otama Rural Water Scheme Committee. It was initially intended to provide stock water.

    The scheme’s water comes from a bore at Pyramid Bridge, next to the Mataura River. It supplies water to just over 250 connections on 221 farms. The scheme also services numerous homes, as well as two schools and a marae.

    The water was untreated until 2018 when chlorination was introduced.

Page published: 14 September 2021, 17:40