Are we paying too much?  –  Waitakere’s Septic Tank Pumpout Targeted Rate

We’ve received our latest rates bill and the Waitakere Rural Septic Pumpout rate has gone up again, but in Waiheke things are done differently .

In Waitakere,  properties with a standard septic tank  pay Council a Rural Sewerage Targeted Rate which is  now $188 per  year, and for this you receive a septic tank pump out once every 3 years.  So the cost of each pumpout  in Waitakere is  ($188×3) =  $564 dollars per pumpout.  This targeted rate produces approximately $.750 million per year for Council.

On Waiheke, however they don’t pay a rural septic targeted rate.   They have a Waiheke Wastewater bylaw 2008  requiring homeowners to organise a pump out every three years,   you can chose from one of two private operators.   (Council info on septic tank schemes)

The best price on Waiheke for a large tank is $385 per septic pumpout.  The owners then takes a copy of the receipt to their local council service centre. If it’s a low use home (eg a bach , or single occupant household) you may not even need it pumped out every three years , you can have an exemption inspection (exemption inspection cost $70) .



Cost to Pump out a Septic Tank



$564 per septic pumpout

Council’s Waitakere Septic Targeted Rate of $188 per year. Pumpout happens every 3 year = ($188 x 3 years = $564 per pumpout)


$385 per septic  pumpout*

Private pumpout:  show receipt to council.

Rural Waitakere pay $179 more per pump out


*Waiheke costs come from  the website of Greenacres Waiheke.  Green acres have good maintenance advise on their website and also give back to the community with   a trust giving grants to  youth from single parent families.

So Waitakere appear to be paying approximately $179 dollars more per pumpout per household more than Waiheke.

How is a private operator on a remote island able to achieve a better deal than Councils bulk procurement on the mainland? What if any extras are Waitakere being charged for?  Are Waitakere getting a fair deal?  Should we move to the same deal as Waiheke?  We’re a super city so why aren’t we getting consistency of services and prices?

Opinion: Author Penny Sparks