Wellington Water Committee



5 September 2018




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, Porirua City Council,

16 Cobham Court, Porirua







Monday 10 September 2018 commencing at 1.00pm






Deputy Mayor D Bassett (Chair)

Hutt City Council

Mayor W Guppy

Upper Hutt City Council

Mayor M Tana

Porirua City Council

Cr C I Pannett

Wellington City Council

Cr J Brash

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Cr D Ogden

Greater Wellington Regional Council  (Alternate)

Mayor WR Wallace

Hutt City Council (Alternate)

Cr R Leggett

Porirua City Council (Alternate)

Cr G McArthur

Upper Hutt City Council (Alternate)

Cr P Gilberd

Wellington City Council (Alternate)






For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit www.huttcity.govt.nz


Wellington Water Committee


The Wellington Water Committee ("the Committee") is established to:

·                     Provide governance oversight of the network infrastructure for the delivery of bulk water, water reticulation, wastewater and stormwater services in the areas of Lower Hutt City, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City and Wellington City ("the four cities");

·                    Provide governance oversight of Wellington Water Limited; and

·                     Provide a forum for the representatives of Wellington Water Limited's shareholders (being Wellington Regional Council and the local authorities for the four cities) ("the Shareholders") to meet, discuss and co-ordinate on relevant issues and, through their representatives, exercise their powers.


The Committee is a joint committee of the Lower Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council and Wellington Regional Council.


Specific responsibilities

The Committee's responsibilities are:

Governance oversight responsibilities

Governance oversight of Wellington Water Limited and of the network infrastructure for the delivery of bulk water, water reticulation, wastewater and stormwater services in the areas of the four cities, including by:


·                     Receiving and considering the half-yearly and annual reports of Wellington Water Limited;

·                     Receiving and considering such other information from Wellington Water Limited as the Committee may request on behalf of the Shareholders and/or receive from time to time;

·                    Undertaking performance and other monitoring of Wellington Water Limited;

·                     Considering and providing recommendations to the Shareholders on proposals from Wellington Water Limited;

·                     Providing co-ordinated feedback, and recommendations as needed, on any matters requested by Wellington Water Limited or any Shareholder;

·                     Providing recommendations to the Shareholders regarding the relevant network infrastructure owned by each Shareholder;

·                     Providing recommendations to the Shareholders regarding water conservation;

·                     Agreeing the annual Letter of Expectation to Wellington Water Limited;

·                     Receiving, considering and providing agreed feedback and recommendations to Wellington Water Limited on its draft statement of intent;

·                     Receiving, considering and providing recommendations to the Shareholders regarding Wellington Water Limited's final statement of intent.

·                     Agreeing when Shareholder meetings, or resolutions in lieu of Shareholder meetings, are required, without prejudice to Shareholder and board rights to call meetings under Wellington Water Limited's constitution;

·                     Seeking and interviewing candidates for Wellington Water Limited's board as needed and approving director appointments and/or removals;

·                     Approving the remuneration of directors of Wellington Water Limited;

·                     Monitoring the performance of the board of Wellington Water Limited; and

·                     Providing recommendations to the Shareholders regarding changes to these terms of reference, the Shareholders' Agreement and the constitution of Wellington Water Limited.


Shareholders' responsibilities


To the extent that each Shareholder delegates its relevant powers to the Committee member it appoints, the Committee will provide a forum for the Shareholders to meet and exercise their powers in relation to Wellington Water Limited.


The membership of the Committee will total five persons, as follows:

·                     One member appointed by Hutt City Council;

·                     One member appointed by Porirua City Council;

·                     One member appointed by Upper Hutt City Council;

·                     One member appointed by Wellington City Council; and

·                     One member appointed by Wellington Regional Council.

[Each appointee must be an elected member of the appointing Shareholder.]


The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson will be elected by the Committee once all Committee members have been appointed.


For a meeting of the Committee to have a quorum, three members, or their appointed alternates, must be present.

Where the Committee is providing a forum for the Shareholders to meet and exercise their powers in relation to Wellington Water Limited, the requirements of Wellington Water Limited's constitution will prevail.

[Note: Clause 11.3 of the company’s constitution provides that Directors shall be appointed and removed by the unanimous resolution of the shareholders. For this matter the quorum is therefore all five members or their alternates.]


Each member appointed to the Committee must have an alternate appointed by the relevant Shareholder.  The alternate may attend and vote at meetings of the Committee, but only in the event that the primary member is unable to do so.


The Committee will strive to make all decisions by consensus.

In the event that a consensus on a particular matter before the Committee is not able to be reached, each member of the Committee has a deliberative vote.  In the situation where there is an equality of votes cast on a matter, the Chairperson does not have a casting vote and therefore the matter subject to the vote is defeated and the status quo is preserved.

Other than for those matters for which the Committee has effective decision-making capacity through these terms of reference, each Shareholder retains its full powers to make its own decisions on matters referred to it by the Committee.

Standing Orders

The Wellington Regional Council's Standing Orders apply, subject to the provisions for meeting quorum and decision making as set out in these terms of reference taking precedence.


Each Shareholder will be responsible for remunerating its representative on the Committee for any costs associated with that person's membership of the Committee.


Reports to be considered by the Committee may be submitted by any of the Shareholders or Wellington Water Limited.

Duration of the Committee

In accordance with clause 30(7) of Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2002, the Committee is not deemed to be discharged following each triennial election.


Common delegations

Governance oversight responsibilities

·                     Each Shareholder will delegate to the Committee the responsibilities and powers necessary to participate in and carry out the Committee's governance oversight responsibilities.


Shareholders' responsibilities


·                     Each Shareholder will delegate to its appointed Committee member and, in accordance with these terms of reference, that person's alternate, all responsibilities and powers in relation to the agreement of:


o   when Shareholder meetings, or resolutions in lieu of Shareholder meetings, are required (without prejudice to Shareholder and Board rights to call meetings under Wellington Water Limited's constitution); and

o   the appointment, removal and remuneration of Wellington Water Limited's directors.




Wellington Water Committee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers

Porirua City Council, 16 Cobham Court, Porirua

Monday 10 September 2018 commencing at 1.00pm




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 


Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.       



          Next steps

5.       Minutes

Meeting minutes Wellington Water Committee, 29 May 2018                             9    


          Discussion on local authorities interested in joining Wellington Water Ltd          

7.       Company Update Report (18/1402)

Report No. WWC2018/4/219 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    14

8.       Sustainable Water Supply (18/1406)

Report No. WWC2018/4/220 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    29      





Kathryn Stannard





                                                                      13                                                 29 May 2018

Wellington Water Committee


Minutes of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 838 - 842 Fergusson Drive,
Upper Hutt on

 Tuesday 29 May 2018 commencing at 1.07pm




Deputy Mayor D Bassett (Chair)


Mayor W Guppy, (Deputy Chair) Upper Hutt City Council


Mayor M Tana, Porirua City Council (from 2pm)


Cr I Pannett, Wellington City Council (until 2.24pm)


Cr J Brash, Greater Wellington Regional Council


Cr R Leggett, Alternate, Porirua City Council (from 1.07pm until 2pm)


Cr P Gilbert, Alternate, Wellington City Council (from 2.24pm)


APOLOGIES:                  An apology was received from Mayor Tana for lateness.


IN ATTENDANCE:       Cr R Leggett, Alternate, Porirua City Council
Cr P Gilbert, Alternate, Wellington City Council
Mayor L Patterson, Masterton District Council

Mr D Hopman, Infrastructure Manager, Masterton District Council

Mayor J Booth, Carterton District Council
Deputy Mayor R Keys, Carterton District Council

Ms J Davies, Chief Executive, Carterton District Council

Mayor V Napier, (South Wairarapa District Council (part meeting)

                                          Mr D Wright, Chair, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Mr C Crampton, Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Mr M Kinvig, Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Ms J Bryan, Principal Advisor, Wellington Water Ltd

Mr T Stallinger, Chief Executive, Hutt City Council

Mr D Baxter, City Engineer, Wellington City Council

Ms K Stannard, Divisional Manager Democratic Services

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker



1.       APOLOGIES

Resolved:                                                                              Minute No. WWC 18201

“That the apology for lateness received from Mayor Tana be accepted and leave of absence be granted.”


There was no public comment.    


Cr Brash declared a conflict of interest as a member of Local Government New Zealand’s Policy Advisory Group (the Group) and took no part in discussions or voting on matters relating to the Group.

4.       Minutes

Resolved:                                                                              Minute No. WWC 18202

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Wellington Water Committee held on Thursday,
1 March 2018, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”



Company Update Report (18/809)

Memorandum dated 14 May 2018 by Wellington Water Limited


The Chief Executive of Wellington Water Limited (the company) elaborated on the memorandum.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive of the company confirmed the proposed closure of the main arterial route through Aro Valley would be carefully planned to cause minimal disruption.  He acknowledged the high incidence of speeding tickets issued to the company’s marked vehicles.  He advised that all new contracts included access to resources that might be required in the event of an emergency.  He further advised he had asked local authorities to report on resources held by them.


Resolved:                                                                              Minute No. WWC 18203

“That the Wellington Water Committee notes and receives the report.”



Sustainable Water Supply Update (18/794)

Memorandum dated 10 May 2018 by Wellington Water Limited


The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Limited (the company) elaborated on the memorandum.  He explained the process to date and the important link between sustainable water supplies and local authorities Long Term Plans (LTPs).  He noted the next 10 years would provide an important opportunity to influence what was needed in terms of a sustainable water supply for the region.

In response to questions from members, the Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning explained the company preferred a regional approach with regard to LTPs to send a consistent message across the region.  He acknowledged local authorities did have unique issues.  He advised a report on progress would be presented to the next Committee meeting.  He encouraged members to send feedback to him as soon as possible.

Cr Leggett commented that most local authorities were aware of the company process.  He believed Councillors needed to become more familiar with infrastructure requirements to enable the work of the company to proceed.


Resolved:                                                                              Minute No. WWC 182024

‘That the Committee notes and receives the memorandum.”



Statement of Intent 2018-2021 (18/747)

Memorandum dated 23 May 2018 by the Divisional Manager, Democratic Services, Hutt City Council


The Chair elaborated on the memorandum and highlighted the customer focus contained in the Statement of Intent (SOI).

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive of Wellington Water Ltd (the company) explained the process of relaying problems to the company.  He acknowledged that members of the public who reported issues should be updated at the end of the process and work was currently underway to improve this process.  He said that once all modelling had been completed, including climate change factors, risk assessments could be more accurately defined, including the number of businesses and roads that might be affected.  He acknowledged concerns about gender equity, the diverse workforce and the company management fee.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive of the company advised that the company’s Board had encouraged a number of value for money measures to be included in the SOI.  He advised the company worked closely with local authorities to respond to growth in the region.


Resolved:                                                                           Minute No. WWC 18205

“That the Committee:

(i)            notes that the Board for Wellington Water Limited has approved its Statement of Intent 2018-2021; and


 (ii)    receives the final Wellington Water Limited’s Statement of Intent 2018-2021 attached as Appendix 1 to the memorandum.”


Three Waters Review Submission (18/848)

Memorandum dated 22 May 2018 by the Chief Executive, Hutt City Council                


The Chair elaborated on the submission.  He explained the Three Waters Review was of particular relevance to the Wairarapa, since central government was planning a more regional approach.  He noted the Wellington Water Limited’s (the company) model had potential capacity to manage water for the whole region.  He believed it would be beneficial for the Wairarapa Councils to attend the Wellington Water Committee’s meetings.

The Chief Executive of Hutt City Council advised of an intended proposal to the Chief Executives Forum to secure commitment from across the region to engage senior staff in workshops so that a case could be constructed for the Wellington Water Committee to endorse.  

Mayor Tana joined the meeting at 2pm.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive of the company advised that three officer workshops were proposed between May and August.  An update would be reported to the Committee at its next meeting. 

Cr Pannett left the meeting at 2.24pm.

The Chief Executive of the company elaborated on Freshwater Quality.  He confirmed the company was working with the Regional Natural Resources Plan.


Resolved:                                                                              Minute No. WWC 18206

“That the Committee:


(i)    invites all neighbouring councils to participate in developing a submission to the Government’s Three Waters Review; and


(ii)   notes that Wellington Water Ltd will facilitate the process.”


Resolved:                                                                             Minute No. WWC 18207

“That the public be excluded from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting, namely:

10.     Minutes  - 1 March 2018

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:








General subject of the matter to be considered.

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter.

Ground under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution.




Minutes of the Wellington Water Committee held on 1 March 2018

The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons. (s7(2)(a)).

That the public conduct of the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exist.


This resolution is made in reliance on section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the particular interest or interests protected by section 6 or 7 of that Act which would be prejudiced by the holding of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting in public are as specified in Column (B) above.”



There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 2.30pm and the non-public portion of the meeting closed at 2.35pm.










Deputy Mayor D Bassett









CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 10th day of September 2018




Wellington Water Committee

23 August 2018




File: (18/1402)





Report no: WWC2018/4/219


Company Update Report


Purpose of Report

1.    To provide the Wellington Water Committee with assurance that the company is performing to agreed outcomes.


It is recommended that the Committee receives the Company Update Report.


Operational Update


The 2017-18 Year in Review


We have closed out the 2017-18 year. The vast majority of activities planned in the 2017-20 Statement of Intent (SOI), have been achieved. Some performance targets (including some Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) targets) were beyond our direct control. For example, obtaining a global consent for storm water and the upgrading of tanks as a result of our resilience messaging which has slowed without more support.


Customer outcomes


In providing Safe and Healthy Water, we are constantly challenged when supplying to customers to address new contaminants, climate change impacts, ageing infrastructure, and wastewater/stormwater entering waterways during heavy rain events. Until we have reduced these occurrences we continue to rate this outcome as amber.


We are committed to be Respectful to the Environment. However, there is some variability in freshwater water quality in the Wellington Metropolitan region where some of our rivers flowing out of forested catchments are in excellent health while some of our streams, rivers and coastal areas are degraded. The impact of these initiatives is either unknown or variable so we continue to rate this outcome amber.


Again, we remain committed to providing Resilient Networks that Support the Economy, but the overall reliability of our three waters service will be compromised during significant natural events (ie. flooding during high intensity wet weather events). We are both investigating and investing to improve our performance. Due to the extent of regional issues, we currently rate this outcome red. A summary of our outcome performance is in Attachment A.




Highlights for the year included:


·     Closing out the Long Term Planning round with all councils. Additional funding has been received from Wellington City Council (WCC) and Porirua City Council (PCC) and we have agreed the PCC Opex for the next three years.


·     In response to the Havelock North Inquiry and unexpected E.coli readings in the Waterloo bore field, we fast tracked full treatment of the Waiwhetu Aquifer water providing water to 75,000 people in the Hutt Valley. This $11million project was finished in time for the 2017-18 summer but went over budget due to under-estimation of the required scope. The project itself impacted on all our projects but we still managed to deliver 96% of our planned capital programme (Attachment B)


·     We had a major contamination scare when a contractor drove a pile through both our wastewater and drinking water mains that lead to the coastal settlement of Pukerua Bay. There was a chance customers could have received contaminated water so we mobilised a full crew to door knock and advise residents to not drink the water. There were no reports of sickness.


·   Procurement of our new delivery models is now well advanced. Our operation and maintenance Alliance will be announced in September 2018 and the contractor panel and combined wastewater contracts are progressing well.


·   Strengthening the region’s resilience through projects such projects as Community Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) - even though not fully complete a significant amount work has been completed for the region and demonstrat6es our ability to partner with central government


·   Completing the Three Waters Strategy (that feeds into the Regional Service Plan) with support from client councils to position the company as thought leaders.


·   WCC is advancing planned sludge improvement works in its Long Term Plan which enables us to devise a regional plan for sludge management with our wastewater suppliers


·   The concept of One Budget is still settling in with all Councils. Small operational surpluses were achieved during the year and returned to Councils, except PCC and Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC).


·   We have gradually been getting a better handle on customer and working well with client councils to improve process and functioning of the customer hub. We now produce a Customer Report (Attachment C) and are in the process of embedding new customer behaviours.


·   We have committed to the Cross Harbour Pipeline as the preferred option for creating an alternative water supply to Wellington. This project will bring the number of days customers will be without water in the Eastern Suburbs from 100 days to a maximum of 30 days. The option was confirmed after comprehensive investigation of the harbour seafloor solution which was not successful.


·     We delivered $1.6M of innovations and improvements across the year. The highlight was a “top down” construction methodology for the Dixon Street pump station which resulted in $200K net savings, 4-5 weeks shortening of the contract and significant other benefits, reduced impacts on traffic, pedestrians and other customers. For detail on the value for money dashboard and stories refer to Attachments D and E.


In addition we have anticipated the potential impacts and opportunities posed by the Havelock North Inquiry (ie. we have been actively involved in developing new staff certification standards with the sector, and reviewing critical controls for the Regional Water Safety Plan) and Three Waters Review and continue to ensure the company front foots changes proposed with client councils. We have started to develop the regions Three Waters Review Proposal.


2018-19 Started well


The Board has signed off the 2018-21Statement of Intent. Small adjustments were required to budgets following final approval of Long Term Plans by councils.


Our new Statement of Intent has been well received by client councils and stakeholders.


Future Service Studies


The 2018-21 Statement of Intent has a commitment to produce three strategic cases in year one and one study. We have completed the first of the three strategic cases – sustainable water supply and present this as a separate paper. We have learnt from this process to adapt the better business case approach to fit our purpose better.


Once we have a suite of these strategic cases together we can look across their strategic responses to strengthen their interdependencies with each other as we move to programme business case stage. These cases will provide valuable input to future regional service plans and councils long term planning processes.


We are currently planning the Future Service Study for Sludge Management around the Wastewater Treatment Operation & Maintenance contract that will be tendered in quarter two.  As part of this, we are engaging the tenderers to participate in the initial workshops and will complete the Strategic Case with the successful tenderer.  We are yet to confirm timing of our engagement with the Wellington Water Committee.


Wellington City Council has brought forward planned investment in sludge treatment based on their timeframe to reduce waste volumes into the Southern Landfill.  As such we will include pricing of thermal drying for the treatment plants in the wastewater treatment plant tender and also invite alternative solutions that can be developed based on the outcome of the strategic case.


Health and Safety


Critical risks: Traffic Management, In-attentive and speeding drivers through work sites and Mobile plant, operator competency alongside safe and suitable equipment are our current areas of focus. Our trending data supports that these risks have the greatest potential to cause serious harm.


We are engaging well with our people and wider supply chain with an emphasis on long term health and wellbeing.


Our Health and Safety Dashboard is in Attachment F.







Attachment A Three Waters Dashboard



Attachment B Critical Projects report - June 2018_ Inc RAG (3).PDF - Adobe Acrobat



Attachment C Customer project report - Q4 2017-18 summary



Attachment D VfM Dashboard_1718



Attachment E Value for Money Stories_1718



Attachment F Health and Safety Dashboard








Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 2

Attachment B Critical Projects report - June 2018_ Inc RAG (3).PDF - Adobe Acrobat


Attachment 3

Attachment C Customer project report - Q4 2017-18 summary


Attachment 4

Attachment D VfM Dashboard_1718


Attachment 5

Attachment E Value for Money Stories_1718




Attachment 6

Attachment F Health and Safety Dashboard


                                                                                      31                                               10 September 2018

Wellington Water Committee

23 August 2018




File: (18/1406)





Report no: WWC2018/4/220


Sustainable Water Supply


Purpose of Report

1.      This paper seeks Wellington Water Committee endorsement of the Strategic Case for Sustainable Water Supply.


It is recommended that the Committee:

(i)    endorses the Strategic Case for Sustainable Water Supply attached as Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 to the report; and

(ii)   encourages development of a business case.


2.    The Three Waters Strategy identified the need for several Future Service Studies. Sustainable Water Supply is the first of these and more will follow. The Strategic Case for Sustainable Water Supply identifies three key problems; demand exceeding supply (based on current usage and a growing population); vulnerability of our networks and water sources to contaminants and natural events (we also have aging infrastructure); and problems with supply of water itself linking back to the environment and possible reductions in the amount we can extract for water supply.

3.    We need to address these problems so that our customers have access to enough water for economic, social and cultural purposes, so they know how to use water efficiently, and to ensure the network is well managed (including for example, appropriate levels of leakage management). Protecting water sources (complying with consents to take) and ensuring their long term sustainability is also important both from a water quality and water quantity perspective.

4.    If the Wellington Water Committee endorses the strategic case, the next step will be to complete a business case (or similar). We will do this concurrently and alongside other Future Service Studies that have strong interdependencies (for example the Water Quality Receiving Environment Future Service Study and the Resilient Networks Future Service Study) so we can take an integrated view of the potential strategic responses, which will ultimately inform Councils Long Term Plans (LTPs). 


5.    The Three Waters Strategy identified the need for several Future Service Studies.

6.    Our Statement of Intent 2018-21 commits to delivering three strategic cases and one study in 2018-19. We agreed to deliver a strategic case for Sustainable Water Supply, which is the first Future Service Study in 2018-19. The strategic case is just the first step in the process.

7.    A key driver was a discussion with Greater Wellington Regional Council on the LTP, where we predicted (based on our modelling) that if per capita demand remains the same, then our growing population will need a new water source by 2040.

8.    We wanted to take a holistic approach to sustainable water supply (especially given its links with water quality) so we don’t get locked into predetermined solutions.

The problem

9.    After a fair bit of consultation (which included workshops with Water Committee members, Council Officers and key stakeholders) we boiled the problem statements down to three, explained below.

Problem statement 1: Demand will exceed capacity to supply

10.  This is all about how we use water. With current water usage rates (around 360 litres per person per day gross usage, including approximately 260 litres per person per day for residential use) we won’t have enough water available in the future and this will affect our ability to respond to growth. So we need to better understand water loss and leakage, both within the network and on private property, reduce water usage and encourage more efficient water use, and plan better for future water requirements as part of growth and housing developments.

Problem statement 2: Our water sources and network are vulnerable

11.  Our water sources and networks are vulnerable compromising our ability to maintain supply.

12.  We have an old fragile network that is vulnerable to climate change. Climate change is also a threat to our sources due to rising temperatures, increased severity of drought and storms, and rising sea levels. This combined with earthquakes and high intensity storms (causing land movement) can lead to the increased risk of contamination. In addition, emerging contaminants can have implications for how we manage water quality which in turn could affect the availability of sources (ie Waiwhetu Aquifer).

13.  We also have a heavy reliance (up to 70%) on the aquifer, especially in summer time, which impacts on our ability to respond to different risk scenarios.

Problem statement 3: There may be less water available for us to use

14.  Our ability to take water is likely to be limited, and there could even be a reduction in our current consented water takes, to meet environmental needs (as a result of the Natural Resources Plan) which may constrain our ability to supply community and customer needs.

The benefits

15.  Managing demand (including encouraging consumers to use water efficiently) enables reliable access to sufficient quality water that can support economic, social and cultural wellbeing. Planning for and better anticipating threats to our water sources and the water supply network will enable us to improve efficiency of supply.

16.  Leaving more water in the natural environment improves environmental wellbeing and outcomes and is also consistent with the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, the Whaitua process, and community cultural and social aspirations. Councils also have an increasing focus on recreation, aesthetics and the liveability of our cities.

Strategic Responses

17.  We touched lightly on what sorts of strategic responses we could explore in a detailed business case. When we have confirmed the range of solutions for sustainable water supply, we will pause and look across strategic responses from other related Future Service Studies to ensure that our work is integrated and delivers best value for money for the region.  In other words, there will be integration opportunities for solutions from multiple Future Service Studies. 

18.  Strategic responses could be a mix of actions for Wellington Water, consumers and Councils. Potential solutions include adjusting levels of service for drinking water supply with client councils, working with consumers to reduce and better manage their demand and use of water, looking at how we can work with stakeholders to protect water sources, improve management of the network itself and operational resilience and, look at new water sources (ie. bores). These will be explored in more detail as we progress through the business case process.

Stakeholder consultation

19.  There has been significant stakeholder consultation starting with the Wellington Water Committee and our five Council Chief Executives early in the process (as well as Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast District Council representatives) and then extending to local iwi and council infrastructure managers along with a range of other stakeholders.


20.   With clear problem statements we are now in a good position to move to a more detailed business case where all the options for solutions can be explored. We need to coordinate the next stage in the process with other related Future Service Studies to optimise any solutions.






Sustainable Water Supply Strategic Case one pager (Attach A)



Sustainable Water Supply Strategic Case (Attach B)


Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)

Attachment 1

Sustainable Water Supply Strategic Case one pager (Attach A)



Attachment 2

Sustainable Water Supply Strategic Case (Attach B)


                                                                                                                         Attachment B



Sustainable Water Supply

Strategic Case




Executive summary  3

How the case was developed   4

How change supports wider goals  7

Alignment with international and national priorities  7

A sustainable water supply contributes to regional priorities  8

Aspirations for sustainable water supply  10

Why our water supply is not sustainable   11

Current state – our water system is under pressure   11

Is it worthwhile to intervene?  17

What benefits will we see?  17

Benefits to the wider region   18

Dependencies and uncertainties  18

Strategic responses  19

How will we decide which options are best?  20

Summary and next steps  22

Appendix A – Three Waters Strategy  23

Appendix B – Problem map   24

Appendix C – Problem and causes  25

Appendix D – Influences and vulnerabilities of Wellington’s water supply  26

Appendix E – Benefits map   27



Executive summary


Opportunity in a nutshell: investing in a sustainable water supply for Wellington

A safe, reliable and sustainable water supply is fundamental to achieving public health and the social, cultural, environmental and economic prosperity of the region.

We need to consider water holistically. This means we consider the physical aspects of the water such as its source (including environmental quality of freshwater), treatment systems and infrastructure, as well as human aspects such as behaviour and use of water.

Water in the Wellington Region is limited and so we need to ensure it is distributed and consumed in a way that avoids wastage and encourages efficient use of water.

Water supply is also intrinsically linked to the quality of water (the topic of another Future Service Study yet to be completed).

The key drivers for change discussed in this case are:

·    demand for water will exceed capacity to supply - current water consumption and a growing population will lead to water shortages by 2040

·    our water sources and networks  are vulnerable - threats to our vulnerable water sources and networks are compromising our ability to maintain supply

·    there may be less water available for us to use – potential reduction in our current water take to meet environmental needs may constrain our ability to supply community and customer needs.

We will know we have sustainable water supply when the following benefits are realised:

·    we have appropriate[1] water available to support economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing

·    we have improved efficiency of supply across the whole network

·    we have improved environmental outcomes at source.

Through the strategic case development, six strategic responses have been identified to improve delivery of a sustainable water supply:

·    increase supply capacity for communities and customers

·    improve operational resilience of our infrastructure

·    efficient and effective design and management of the water supply network

·    improve how we protect our water sources

·    reduce water demand

·    review levels of service for the provision of drinking water.


Sustainable Water Supply is the first of a series of planned Future Service Studies and the first step in this Future service Study is to complete this Strategic Case.

The next step is for the Wellington Water Committee to consider whether to progress to a Programme Business Case or Detailed Business Cases for sustainable water supply.

If this Strategic Case is supported and we move to the next step, then we will also consider strategic responses from other Future Service Studies as we progress, so we can clearly see interdependencies with them.


How the case was developed


We have developed this strategic case as the first step in the Better Business Case investment process. Its objective is to unpack the implications of doing nothing and to outline the rationale for targeting specific areas for change and investment. It does this by addressing the following questions:

·    how will establishing a sustainable water supply support our goals and priorities?

·    why isn’t our water supply sustainable in the long-term?

·    what are the benefits of making a change?

·    what high-level response options are available to us?


Being the first step in a wider investment process, this strategic case is deliberately high-level and does not seek to be determinative of final solutions. It is a starting point. A second phase of more detailed study or investigation is expected to follow the strategic case and produce a Programme Business Case (or similar) to support more focussed investment decision making.

The answers to the above questions were shaped by a series of workshops – firstly with our Water Committee, to set the direction and scope of this work, followed by two investment logic mapping (ILM) workshops with representatives from our five client councils and other key stakeholders. In parallel, more detailed work has been brought together by a smaller group of experts. Through this engagement, we have distilled the case and appetite for change. This document reflects those discussions and decisions.

What does this case cover?

The scope of this work is described in five dimensions:

·    Geographic area - focus on the Wellington Metropolitan region (‘the region’). In other words, where Wellington Water operates now[2]. We do recognise that we need to take wider regional needs and issues into consideration as well


·    Users - includes current and future customers and users. Users may be community groups or commercial entities, and future users includes those who may seek to connect to our services through growth, new development and existing developments that shift onto our networks. Currently this is all potable water provided for all private and commercial use – for drinking, cooking and cleaning, bathrooms, garden use and the relevant commercial operations.


·    Service - includes all aspects of the supply of drinking water including quality and quantity; all aspects of our infrastructure networks, water sources and treatment systems


·    Time horizon - we are taking a 50-year view, with an eye out to 100 years.

Why do we need to make decisions now?

The need for this strategic case was triggered by a Long Term Plan discussion with Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Figure 1 Change in drought resilience (Annual Shortfall Probability) with population (Source: Regional Service Plan, Part Two Water Supply Section 7.6)

Our modelling has indicated that if per capita demand remains the same, our growing population will need a new water source by 2040 (see Figure 1). Our client councils will need to budget for new water supplies as part of their 2024/34 Long Term Plan (LTP) process. The development of a new source, will take at least 10 years.

This means we need to complete the future service study on options by 2020 and continue with further planning in time to inform the 2024/34 and subsequent LTPs.

Financial Benefits
The financial benefits of delaying the need for a new source/supply are significant due to the potential magnitude of the investment.  Each year the investment is deferred has a net present value of about $2 million to the region potentially delaying investment in a new source
As we progress through this future service study, we’d expect conversations to occur about the levels of service for water supply and whether there’s an opportunity to review them in light of our changing environment (climate change), increasing vulnerability of our water sources and the fragility of the water network. It comes down to the level of risk customers are willing to take and what they can afford, as well as  client council’s role in making investment decisions that represent the interests of their community. This may mean some form of customer engagement later in the future service study process to understand what customers expect and are willing to support through rates (or other mechanisms).


We need to remember that establishing a new water supply/source in the form of new infrastructure is only one solution to how we can best balance out demand for water with our ability to supply. We need to understand where this sits within the range of strategic responses and the extent to which other options could ease pressure on our supply.

We need to examine all options to determine the best combination of actions we can take. This strategic case is the first step in that process.

Water supply risks: Havelock North
The outbreak of gastroenteritis in Havelock North in August 2016 contributed to four deaths and over 5000 people becoming ill. As a consequence, public confidence in our water supplies and their management has been shaken. Stage 2 of the Havelock North Inquiry, identified more systemic issues and recommended changes to the regulations and institutional arrangements that underpin the supply of safe drinking water.
The Government is now reviewing how to improve the management of the three waters to better support New Zealand. This is focused on a number of challenges facing the sector, including the recommendations of the Havelock North Inquiry.


How change supports wider goals

This section provides the context for change and where this fits into international, national and regional water management priorities.


Alignment with international and national priorities

Having access to safe drinking water is central to living a life with dignity and upholding human rights.

Water management in New Zealand is shaped by a range of statutes, regulations and legislative instruments, frameworks, guidelines and events. A number of these are currently being developed or adapted, particularly in response to the Havelock North gastroenteritis outbreak.

See Table 1 for further detail on how the Sustainable Water Supply Programme (SWS) will contribute to international and national priorities and the key frameworks.


Table 1 SWS alignment to international and national priorities

Strategic objective

How the SWS will contribute

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

The SWS will support four of the eight targets to achieve Goal 6 through sustainable water withdrawals; improved water efficiency; protection of water-related eco-systems, including aquifers, and biodiversity; and equal, affordable and safe access to water sanitation and hygiene for employees and communities.

National Policy Statement - Freshwater (NPS-FW)

Potential changes made by the SWS will work within the environmental limits or “objectives” set through GWRC’s Whaitua processes as outlined in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan for the Wellington Region. These processes are designed to give effect to the NPS-FW.

National Policy Statement – Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC)

The NPS-UDC directs local authorities to ensure there is sufficient development capacity to meet the needs of communities. Appropriate and sustainable infrastructure, including water supply, will ensure the region’s capacity to grow is not constrained.

Drinking Water Standards (DWS) for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2008)


Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007

Safe drinking water is crucial to public health. To be deemed “safe”, drinking water needs to meet the requirements of the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2008).

The Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007 requires councils to take all practicable steps to comply with drinking-water standards and to implement a Water Safety plan for drinking-water supply.

The SWS programme will support compliance with these legislative requirements in the future.

National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES)

The NES sets out the requirements for protecting sources of human drinking water from becoming contaminated.

Potential changes made by the SWS will align source / catchment management standards to strengthen the importance of source protection as a barrier

Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002 (CDEM Act)

The CDEM Act requires councils to ensure they can continue to function to the fullest possible extent following a hazard event; although that may be at a reduced level.

The resilience work already underway and the SWS will support this by understanding and addressing our network and supply vulnerabilities.


A sustainable water supply contributes to regional priorities

Wellington Water’s vision is to:

 “create excellence in regional water services so communities prosper.”

The SWS will support our objectives as well as those of our client councils (see Table 2). 


Table 2 SWS alignment to regional priorities

Strategic objective

How the SWS will contribute

Wellington Water customer outcomes


The SWS will directly support all three of Wellington Water’s customer outcomes specified in the Statement of Intent (2018-21):

·   Safe and healthy water

·   Respect for the environment

·   Resilient networks that support our economy

Wellington Water, Three Waters Strategy

The SWS is the first Future Service Study that is an important step in delivering on our Three Waters Strategy. Other Future Service Studies are planned and will have linkages with the SWS one (ie. quality of water). 

Client Council priorities

All client councils have included resilience and supporting growth as priorities in their Long Term Plans. In addition, Greater Wellington Regional Council includes priorities around water safety and wider network performance.


About the Three Waters Strategy and the future service studies

The Three Waters Strategy[3] sets out the future direction for three waters over the next fifty years. It identifies challenges and opportunities and how our investment in three waters needs to reflect change. Key themes from the strategy are outlined below (see Appendix A for further information).





Key themes from the Three Waters Strategy
•	An interconnected network - Three waters needs to be considered as a “system”
•	Integration of land-use, natural resources (environment) and infrastructure is important
•	Flexible and adaptable solutions – we need infrastructure solutions to adapt to uncertain changes in the future and to recover from significant events
•	Asset and non-asset solutions – this is not just pipes in the ground, but can also include plans and provisions, community and behaviour changes to achieve the outcomes we want
•	Technology gives opportunity and new innovations
•	Robust information and evidence to inform decision-making
•	Achieving outcomes through others – that is, involvement and engagement with the wider community and other agencies is important
•	Achieving multiple benefits from infrastructure solutions

The Three Waters Strategy identified several areas for further study to put the strategy into action over the next few years (see Figure 2). These studies, known as Future Services Studies, will each be explored. The findings and results will inform decision-making at all relevant levels through to the Regional Services Plan, 2024/34 Long Term Plans and Infrastructure Strategies.

We will schedule the development of strategic cases from the suite of Future Service Studies to coincide so we can place each set of strategic responses alongside each other and look at their interdependencies.  The SWS is the first of these Future Service studies to be completed.

Figure 2 Three Waters Future Services Studies

Aspirations for sustainable water supply


The Three Waters Strategy describes the future state for all the waters as:

“Our region treasures its water. Our streams and harbours are healthy, our drinking water is safe and secure, our networks are resilient, our growing cities are water sensitive and we are prepared for a changing climate. Water is at the core of how we plan and grow our cities.”


For the Sustainable Water Supply Programme, the future means:

·    we have fit-for-purpose water for our users

·    we are confident of our plan to 50 years and have a strong view to what needs to happen in 100 years

·    we have the knowledge and data to support discussions about trade-offs and changes to the network

·    efficient delivery of water supply through the network (including reduced leaks and cross connections)

·    The importance of water for Māori 
The shared whakapapa (genealogy) between Māori, Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) underpins the connected relationship to the natural environment: the mountains; forests; and waters. It is this intimate connection that forges the relationship and gives expression to how and why Māori honour their obligation to protect and act as kaitiaki of water.
Water is of highest priority to Māori - as kaitiaki is to ensure that all waters maintain a state of mauri that holds the potency to propagate life. Without this, the mana embedded within the social, political, cultural and environmental fabric of tāngata, marae, whānau, hapū and iwi is degraded and diminished.
we have sufficient agility and redundancy in the system to be flexible enough to cope with swings in demand and supply.


While we are on the path to a sustainable water supply, we must be able to cope with the reasonable needs of our customers and users.

This includes meeting our agreed level of service, which is to meet a drought resilience of 2% annual shortfall probability, and to maintain an appropriate region-wide firefighting supply.

Reasonable use also includes complying with water restrictions in summertime, fixing leaks on private property and having a meter for large users of water such as consumers with in ground swimming pools.

Why our water supply is not sustainable


This section identifies the key problems, or drivers for change. The gap between the current and future state helps tell the story of what needs to be done.


Current state – our water system is under pressure

Where does our water come from?

The Wellington Metropolitan region is fortunate to have most of its water sourced from protected catchments. On average, Wellington sources 45% of its water from the aquifer, 40% from the Hutt River (storage in the Macaskill Lakes), and 15% from the Orongorongo catchments.  The mix changes in summer when we have increased reliance on the aquifer.

Land upstream of all river abstraction points are owned and managed by Greater Wellington Regional Council. Risks of contamination are kept low through active pest management and controlled access to the catchment area.

The water supply to our four cities comes from three primary sources:

·    the headwaters of the Hutt River (abstracted from an intake at Kaitoke weir, stored in the Macaskill lakes and treated at the Te Marua Water Treatment Plant (WTP))

·    the Wainuiomata and Orongorongo catchments (abstracted from river intakes and treated at the Wainuiomata Water Treatment Plant)

·    the Waiwhetu aquifer (primarily treated at the Waterloo Water Treatment Plant although there is a standby treatment plant at Gear Island, Petone)

Bulk water sourced from the Hutt, Orongorongo and Wainuiomata rivers is limited by resource consents which require minimum flows to be maintained so that the ecological health of rivers is sustained. On days where there is excess supply of water, some is diverted to the Macaskill storage lakes at Te Marua. Stored water is pumped back to the treatment plant when river flows are too low to meet demand, or during high flow events when the intakes are closed to prevent gravels from entering the system.

Water extracted from the Waiwhetu aquifer is also limited by resource consents which are intended to minimise salt water intrusion risks, as the aquifer extends beneath the harbour.


River sources (Hutt, Wainuiomata and Orongorongo Rivers)

Water quality in the Wellington metropolitan region is variable. Larger rivers, flowing out of forested ranges are in ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ health, such as the upper reaches of the Hutt or the Orongorongo River.

Water available from rivers reduces in the summer because of low flows, at the same time as demand increases. This forces the Wainuiomata treatment plant to shut down several times during most summers. The Te Marua treatment plant can continue operating in summer because it can draw water from the Macaskill lakes. However, the volume contained in the lakes can be significantly depleted over just a couple of months of dry weather.


Aquifer source (Waiwhetu aquifer at Waterloo and Gear Island)

About 45% of the regions water is sourced from the Waiwhetu aquifer. This water is of a high quality due to a natural filtering process.

Pumping from the aquifer increases significantly during summer; this is to help preserve storage in the Macaskill Lakes. Supply from the aquifer is constrained by the need to maintain sufficient pressure to prevent saline intrusion from the Wellington harbour.

Our challenges in action: the aquifer 
With 45% (but potential up to 70% in summertime) of our daily water supply coming from the Waiwhetu aquifer, protecting the aquifer is a priority for the region.
We can no longer rely only on the natural filtering processes of the Waiwhetu aquifer to provide a safe supply of drinking water.  Three positive E.coli results from the aquifer (the first positive results recorded) indicate that we could be at risk from urban intensification.
The cause of this contamination is under investigation, along with wider work to improve our understanding of the aquifer vulnerabilities. In the meantime, treatment methods such as chlorination and UV disinfection (for the treatment of protozoa) are now in place to improve customer safety.  Investment will be required over the next few years to increase UV disinfection to ensure coverage of all ground water supply. This is now largely complete with only Gear Island UV remaining and we plan to have this in place by the end of 2018/19. 
Other risks to the aquifer include land-use activities directly above, or near the aquifer and earthquakes that may disrupt the aquifer or flooding.


Problem statements


Two Investment Logic Mapping (ILM)[4] workshops were held in May 2018 to define the current problems and benefits of sustainable water supply for the region. The workshops have helped to uncover potential high-level responses and options to address sustainable water supply and create a set of measurable set of investment objectives. See Appendices B and C for the completed ILM, and a summary of the three key problems and the drivers sitting behind each problem.

Problem one: Demand for water will exceed our capacity to supply

Current water consumption and a growing population will lead to water shortages by 2040

Wellington has a growing population that consumes water at persistently and comparatively high rates.  Unless this changes, we will to meet an drought resilience level of service beyond 2040.  

In Wellington this is driven by:

·    significant leakage and loss in the system and on private property. People may not be aware of leakages, or unaware of the importance of fixing these. This could include unauthorised water takes

·    commitments to new housing developments, growth and intensification

·    inefficient use of water (ie. older, less water efficient designs and technologies are widely used across the region and wider New Zealand[5])

·    higher than necessary use (wastage) possibly as a result of lack of awareness of the importance of conserving water (ie. garden watering) and a general undervaluing of the resource[6].

Wellington has a relatively high per capita water use. The median average daily residential water use for the region is 260 litres per person per day. This is in line with the nationwide average, but is at least 26% higher than all other large New Zealand cities, and many international centres.Our challenges in action: Growth
There are different growth pressures in different parts of the region. Fifteen potential growth areas have been identified across Porirua, Wellington City, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. 
The challenge is to align our land-use, planning and infrastructure capacity to avoid expensive one-off infrastructure solutions and to consider non asset solutions as well. Potential responses that will provide both a secure source of water (after a hazard event) and support future residential and business growth can include:
•	Extensions to the bulk water mains
•	New and upgraded reservoirs
•	New sources
•	Water sensitive design for new development
•	Greater self-sufficiency within residential properties
•	Additional treatment plants and bulk water storage facilities

While this demand has reduced significantly over the last 12 years, since 2016 the downward trend has flattened off.

Our modelling/analysis included climate change predictions but the variability of the potential impacts being predicted by NIWA mean that over the next 50 years our changing climate will have only a small impact on decision making in comparison to growth. Growth in water use is dominantly driven by population and economic growth.

Population forecasts show that the region’s population is expected to grow by around 81,000 over next 30 years. It is predicted that approximately 65% of the combined growth will occur in Wellington City, 11% in each of Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt and 14% in Porirua. Continuing to deliver current levels of service (and improved environmental levels of service), whilst at the same time supporting new growth and without any other changes, will require increased levels of investment.

If this problem is not addressed, then we are likely to see:

·    more frequent seasonal water restrictions driven by high demand

·    the need for a new water source arriving sooner than anticipated. This will need substantial investment from all client councils. Delaying this investment has the potential to save the region $2 million per year.

Longer term, if these issues are not addressed water availability could potentially limit growth and development/intensification across the region.


Problem two: Our water sources and network are vulnerable

Threats to our vulnerable water sources and networks are compromising our ability to maintain supply

Our water sources are vulnerable to both natural and human factors. These may be shock events, like storms and earthquakes, or slower and longer term shifts, such as climatic changes or inappropriate land-use that have the potential to affect source water availability and quality.

Our challenges in action: Surface water quality 
Hutt River users have experienced the challenges of water quality impacting use of their river. 
Restrictions around the use and access to their waterways due to algae (scientific name: cyanobacteria) have been in place at times for a number of years. Frequency of the access restrictions is likely to increase with climate change.
The algae has potential to cause human health implications including skin irritations for a small number of people and can kill dogs if it is ingested. There is potential for more serious health effects if toxins produced by the algae are inhaled or ingested by humans (ie. breathing difficulties, nausea or vomiting and /or altered sensation). 

Some sources are more at risk than others. For example, contaminated surface water or shallow groundwater can compromise aquifer water quality.  This could be via natural pathways, unprotected well heads, or as a result of activities that puncture layers that protect the aquifer.


Climate change is also likely to affect our water sources through shifting weather extremes and more intense weather events.

Sea-level rise will increase the risk of saline intrusion into the Waiwhetu aquifer unless abstraction is reduced; increases in water temperature creates increased risk of algal activity in our surface waters such as the Hutt River; more frequent drought and intense storm events will further restrict our ability to take water from surface water sources.

Shock events, such as storms, slips and earthquakes can also affect the water supply network.  Aging and brittle infrastructure located in our unstable soils means that the water network is vulnerable, with 46% of the network currently described as fragile.

With increasing population and potentially increased intensification of land-use, comes the risk of contamination seeping through to our waterways and aquifer over time. Additionally, contaminants of emerging significance are an issue that may require greater focus in the future. These have potential to cause adverse ecological and/or human health effects.

Our challenges in action: Water network and security
Water storage capacity and network improvements are a priority in Wellington City. Key projects include the work on the Omāroro /Prince of Wales Reservoir.
This work will increase the resilience and capacity for the central city and northern suburbs to cope with population growth and unpredictable natural disaster events.
Water storage capacity is also an issue for other councils such as Porirua (Aotea reservoir and in Whitby). With increased growth comes pressure for additional reservoirs

If this problem is not addressed, we are likely to see:

·    more frequent restrictions or outages in supply due to failures in our network

·    increased health risks around our water including potential contamination events that may make our people unwell and /or completely remove a water source from use

·    increased treatment and conveyance costs

·    reduced aesthetics – taste, smell and colour

·    slow recovery times after a shock event.


Problem three: There may be less water available for us to use

Potential reduction in our current water take to meet environmental needs may constrain our ability to supply community and customer needs.

People’s expectations around water supply, water use and sustainability are changing. Communities and government want to see more water left in the environment for environmental, cultural and social reasons. At the same time there is an increased focus on recreation, aesthetics and the liveability of our cities.

Policy is developed to reflect community expectations. Recently, these shifts are seen in:

·    expectations to maintain water quality through the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

·    likely increases to minimum flows for rivers and future resource consents through the proposed Natural Resources Plan for the Wellington region.

Based on the rules in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan, provided applications for resource consents for the taking of water are made prior to the expiry of existing consents in 2031, we will able to take the same amount of water as we do currently. If there were no existing consents in place the amount of water able to be taken would be substantially reduced.

This is all subject to the Natural Resources Plan and Whaitua processes being finalised.

An added challenge is that most of the region’s major rivers are fully allocated, or even over-allocated. This means at normal to low flow there is only just enough water to meet all consented water takes.

Ensuring water is available to maintain minimum flows and aquifer levels could impact on the availability for drinking water supply. This could limit and even reduce the amount of water available to our community and customers.

If this problem is not addressed, then we could compromise our ability to achieve environmental obligations that are supported by the community

An infographic demonstrating how the influences and vulnerabilities of the current water supply that sit behind each of the problems are interlinked can be found in Appendix D.



Is it worthwhile to intervene?


This section outlines the potential benefits that could be realised through the successful implementation of a sustainable water supply for Wellington.


What benefits will we see?

Figure 3 Benefits map for Sustainable Water in Wellington

These benefits were agreed as part of the ILM workshop process involving representatives from our client councils, potable water experts and other stakeholders. Measures that will be used to track progress toward delivering the benefits are shown on the draft benefits map in Appendix E. The measures will be confirmed through the next phase of investment thinking and may need to change to align with the other Future Service Studies.

These benefits are aligned to our customer outcomes.


Appropriate water available to support economic, social and cultural wellbeing

Having enough water means water of the right quality, quantity and reliability. This is crucial to promoting wellbeing in the community.

We will know this benefit is being realised when evidence shows there is a reduced risk to human health, our volume is appropriate to meet user needs, our supplies are reliable, and we use it wisely and efficiently.

Currently all water supplied is potable, irrespective of use. The use of the term ‘appropriate’ reflects that while drinking water remains critical to supporting community and cultural wellbeing, we may need to consider how non-potable water can meet other water use needs.


We have improved efficiency of supply cross the whole network

Improvements to the wider network (from source to tap) will be a key part of establishing a sustainable water supply. Reducing water lost between water extracted from our sources and the water “consumed” is crucial. We need to work with consumers (residential and commercial) to encourage efficient water use.

Long term affordability is a given if our water supply is truly sustainable.  It is important that we take the long-term view of our resources and needs, and consider future users’ needs when solving near term issues.  Any trade-offs will need to be made transparently with our client councils and communities.


We have improved environmental outcomes at source

Establishing a sustainable water supply, to address the problems identified, will result in more water being available to meet environmental, recreational, social and cultural needs of the community. This includes being able to support GWRC’s environmental management priorities (Regional Policy Statements, The Natural Resources Plan and National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management) and will be seen through increased minimum flows and aquifer pressures as a result of reduced or limited water takes.


Benefits to the wider region

Although there are clear benefits to improving the sustainability of water supply in its own right, we should not lose sight of the larger benefits that stem from having a sustainable region. Freshwater supply needs to be considered as one strand within the Three Waters Strategy and the wider infrastructure bundle (eg. wastewater and storm water, electricity, transport, telecommunications). A sustainable region is the ultimate prize. This would mean the region would be much better equipped to meet and recover from both shock events and from longer, slower shifts over the next 100 years. This outcome would see our region in much better shape in this changing world.

The Wellington Lifelines Group is addressing this through the Wellington Resilience Project. This project looks at the inter-dependencies within the regions lifeline infrastructure and has concluded that investment is required to support the region’s viability after a significant natural event. Drinking water supply is near the top of the investment priorities.


Dependencies and uncertainties

There are some pieces of work that are connected with the SWS. There are also some elements of the water management environment that are unknown or uncertain now. These uncertainties will be monitored, with responses made as is appropriate. See Table 3 for this detail.


Table 3 SWS dependencies and uncertainties




The SWS is connected to the following pieces of work:

·  Operational resilience work underway to address the risks of natural hazards in the region

·  Other Future Service Studies

·  The (urban) growth strategies of our client councils

·  Outputs of the NPS-UDC

·  Patterns of growth as articulated through District Plans that will identify future water infrastructure needs

·  The SWS will provide us with evidence to support future renewals and applications to take water

·  Climate change adaptation initiatives

·  Water Safety Plans


·   Outcomes of the Whaitua and proposed Natural Resource Plan process – including changes to the environmental limits and objectives. Early indications are that this is very likely to occur (as discussed in Problem three: there may be less water available for us to use)

·   Long Term Plans for each of the client councils

·   The outcome of governments Three Waters Review that followed the Havelock North Inquiry may result in changes to how we manage water supply, including the definition of a “secure” groundwater source. There could also be wider legislative changes that affect water management in New Zealand.


Strategic responses


This section outlines the strategic response areas that will support a sustainable water supply in Wellington and how the different options will be considered.

Determining the final interventions, or solutions, is not a role for this strategic case. Detailed option development and analysis is a key part of phase two of this future service study. However, by examining both the key problems and the potential benefits, we are able to identify broad areas of change that will address these. These strategic responses are presented in Figure 4.  

Figure 3 Potential areas of action to deliver a sustainable water supply 



Related Work-streams
A range of projects and investments that will support the SWS, have either been completed, started, or are budgeted and planned for, including:
•	Gear Island Treatment Plant UV upgrade
•	Wellington alternative supply - Cross Harbour Pipeline (CHP) and/or harbour bore investigations 
•	Review of Wellington Water Leak Detection Strategy
•	Water conservation programmes 
•	Waiwhetu aquifer investigations
•	Sustainable Yield Model upgrade 
•	Possible reduced pressure zones investigations
•	Lower Hutt Wellfield Long Term Strategy study
•	Te Marua water treatment plant capacity optimisation
Prior to the development of this strategic case, Wellington Water had a number of initiatives underway that are related to sustainable water supply strategic responses. Most of these will continue to contribute towards improving our water supply sustainability but may in time be complimented with other solutions as they arise out of this future service study.


How will we decide which options are best?

We will continue to work with our key stakeholders and experts to develop a full range of options, or activities, for each of the strategic response areas. Some options will fit into multiple categories.

We will then assess these options individually, and as packages, on how well they support the investment objectives and the critical success factors (CSFs) of the programme. The current proposed CSFs are outlined in Table 4 below, including the five standard Better Business Case criteria. We will confirm whether these are the right criteria for assess the potential options early in phase two.


Table 4 Proposed critical success factors for the SWS

Key Critical Success Factors

Broad description

Specific CSFs for the SWS

Delivers on customers’ expectations

·   Provides appropriate safe and healthy water

No negative impacts on others

·   will not negatively affect our neighbouring region, or those who aren’t using our network

Respectful of the environment

·   will support GWRC intentions for water management and environmental care


Better Business Case CSFs

Strategic fit and business needs

·   meets the agreed investment objectives, related business needs and requirements

·   fits with other strategies, programmes and projects

Potential value for money

·   optimises value for money, ie. the optimal mix of potential benefits, costs (capital and operational) and risks while providing required levels of service

·   incentives efficient use and reduces wastage

Supplier capacity and capability

·   enables us to easily procure the systems and services we need

Potential affordability

·   fits within the fiscal constraints of our client councils

Potential achievability

·   is likely to be delivered given the organisation’s ability to respond to the changes required

·   matches the level of available skills required for successful delivery

·   can be delivered in an appropriate timeframe.


We will continue to work collaboratively

We are committed to being trusted advisors to our client councils and working collaboratively with our customers, mana whenua partners and stakeholders to make sure their perspectives are incorporated into all that we do.

The key stakeholders, experts and groups we have worked with to develop this strategic case, and will continue to work with on the SWS, are outlined below.

·    Client Councils (including the Wellington Water Committee, Chief Executives from each Council, Infrastructure Managers  and other representatives)

·    Mana whenua partners

·    Regional Public Health

·    Wellington Water Customer Panel

·    Other user groups and representatives from neighbouring Councils (ie. Kapiti Coast District Council and Wairarapa Councils).



Summary and next steps


The current water supply for Wellington is not sustainable in the future without changes.

A safe, reliable and sustainable water supply is essential to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of our community and customers. For Māori, water is taonga because it supports life and empowers all things.

It is for these reasons that we need to leave water in the natural environment as a self-sustaining system and only take what we need. When we do use it, it comes back into the environment in the same or better condition than when we took it out originally.

We have a number of challenges facing us at present and in the future – to have and keep a sustainable water supply. Some of these challenges are growth/development in the Wellington region, achieving a “water efficient culture” with water users, addressing vulnerabilities in our water sources (ie. the impacts of climate change and emerging contaminants) and meeting potential regulatory requirements that may restrict our water takes to keep more water in the environment.

The benefits of addressing problems in this case will mean that appropriate water is available to support economic, social and cultural wellbeing that consumers play an important role in water efficiency, that we have improved efficiency of supply across the whole network and that we will have improved environmental outcomes at source – leaving more water in the natural environment.

The next stage in the Future Service Study process is to look at strategic responses/solutions in more detail through a Programme Business Case or Detailed Business Cases (ie. economic, financial etc).

It is recommended that this strategic case is endorsed by the Wellington Water Committee and A Programme Business Case or Detailed Business Cases proceed but in a manner that aligns with other related Future Service Studies so that holistic solutions can be considered as input to future LTP processes.




Appendix A – Three Waters Strategy


Appendix B – Problem map


Appendix C – Problem and causes

Appendix D – Influences and vulnerabilities of Wellington’s water supply


Appendix E – Benefits map

[1] Appropriate water relates to the quality of water, its aesthetics and taste and the right volume of water being available at the right time – which may vary depending on level of service being purchased.

[2] Specifically, the water services owned by Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington City Councils and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

[3] The Three Waters Strategy was endorsed by the Wellington Water Board in February 2018.

[4] ILM is a technique to ensure that a robust discussion and thinking is done up-front, resulting in a sound problem definition.

[5] http://www.level.org.nz/water/water-supply/appliances-and-fixtures/; http://www.cmnzl.co.nz/assets/sm/5916/61/10.PN051Roberti.pdf

[6] Water NZ - National Performance Review 2016-17; Waterwise – Renew Project, Action a2a https://database.ib-net.org/DefaultNew.aspx ;