Wellington Water Committee



20 September 2019




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,






Thursday 26 September 2019 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)

Mr T Parai

Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira 

Ms N Solomon

Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira (Alternate)

Ms K Skelton

Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika

Ms K Tamanui

Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika (Alternate)







Wellington Water Committee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Thursday 26 September 2019 commencing at 1.00pm




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 

Mayor Wayne Guppy.


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.       


4.       Minutes

12 July 2019                                                                                                              5    

5.       Company Update Report (19/1185)

Report No. WWC2019/4/205 by Wellington Water Ltd                                      8

6.       Wellington Water Ltd - Draft Annual Report and Financial Statements (19/1186)

Report No. WWC2019/4/206 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    12

7.       Delivering on Wellington Water Ltd's Outcomes (19/1187)

Report No. WWC2019/4/207 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    73

8.       Sustainable Water Supply (19/1226)

Report No. WWC2019/4/212 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    86

9.       Update on the Government's Water Reforms (19/1193)

Report No. WWC2019/4/209 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    90




10.     Climate Change - First Steps to Change (19/1234)

Report No. WWC2019/4/213 by Wellington Water Ltd                                    99

11.     Endorsement of strategic case for the ‘Receiving Environment Water Quality’ Future Service Study (19/1205)

Report No. WWC2019/4/210 by Wellington Water Ltd                                  103      











Kathryn Stannard

Divisional Manager Democratic Services

Hutt City Council



                                                                       5                                                   12 July 2019

Wellington Water Committee


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

 Friday 12 July 2019 commencing at 1.00pm


Deputy Mayor D Bassett (Chair), Hutt City Council
Mayor W Guppy, (Deputy Chair) Upper Hutt City Council
Cr I Pannett, Wellington City Council
Cr J Brash, Greater Wellington City Council
Cr R Leggett, Porirua City Council

APOLOGY:                     Mayor M Tana, Porirua City Council


IN ATTENDANCE:       Mr P Gilberd, Alternate, Wellington City Council
Mr D Wright, Chair, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Ms C Brophy, Board Member, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Mr G Dangerfield, Board Member, Wellington Water Ltd

                                          Mr P Barry, Board Member, Wellington Water Ltd

Ms W Walker, Chief Executive, Porirua City Council

Mr C Crampton, Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd

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

Ms S Cuthbert, Principal Advisor to the Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd

Mr D Baxter, City Engineer, Wellington City Council

Ms S Gain, General Manager Corporate Services, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Mr S Mahoney, Company Portfolio Manager, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Mr B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor, Hutt City Council

Ms K Stannard, Divisional Manager Democratic Services, Hutt City Council

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker




1.       APOLOGIES 


Resolved                                                                            Minute No. WWC 19301(2)

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


There was no public comment.      


There were no conflict of interest declarations.


Applications to Become Mana Whenua Partners (19/910)

Report No. WWC2019/3/151 by the Chief Executive, Porirua City Council


The Chair explained that the shareholders had signed off on the Constitution resulting in all nominations for Tangata Whenua partners being required to come before the Committee.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive Porirua City Council explained the remuneration package for Tangata Whenua partners was currently being assessed with a report back to the next meeting. 

In response to a question from a member regarding South Wairarapa Iwi representation, the Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd anticipated an application would be forthcoming.

Cr Pannett suggested a celebration should be planned to acknowledge the partnership signing.


Resolved                                                                            Minute No. WWC 19302(2)

“That the Committee:

(i)    notes and receives the report;

(ii)   agrees to recommend to shareholder councils that Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira be appointed as a Mana Whenua Partner Entity, and that Te Taku Parai be its nominated representative and Naomi Solomon be its nominated alternate; and

(iii)  agrees to recommend to shareholder councils that Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika be appointed as a Mana Whenua Partner Entity, and that Kim Skelton be its nominated representative and Kirsty Tamanui be its nominated alternate.”


Proposal for South Wairarapa District Council to Become a Shareholder in Wellington Water Ltd (19/861)

Report No. WWC2019/3/137 by the Chief Executive, Porirua City Council


The Chair advised that he was comfortable with the completed risk assessment report.  The Principal Advisor to the Chief Executive of Wellington Water Ltd (the company) confirmed the reference to Three Waters would be replaced with Four Waters to reflect that the South Wairarapa District had Water Races.  She confirmed that the figure of 225km relating to the Moroa Water Race in Greytown was correct.

The Chief Executive of the company confirmed there were five employees of South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) that would be transferred to the company.  He also confirmed that the outsourcing to CityCare Water would cease in the Wairarapa and that the same delivery model to the existing five member councils would be utilised for SWDC.  He added the formal change over would occur on 1 October 2019.

In response to concerns raised by a member regarding the Lutra Report, the Chief Executive of the company advised that when SWDC operations were transferred to the company, the company’s systems would be installed that do not allow for alarms to be turned off.  The Chair of the company added that the risk of accepting SWDC had been downgraded to low.

In response to concerns from a member regarding the cultural differences between SWDC and the company, the Chief Executive of the company advised that there was a good cultural fit between SWDC and the company.  He also advised that positive relationships had been developed at both the governance level and officer level.


Resolved                                                                            Minute No. WWC 19303(2)

“That the Committee:

(i)    notes and receives the report;

(ii)   notes the risk assessment report and addendum prepared by Wellington Water Ltd for South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) setting out the risks associated with SWDC becoming a shareholder and the way Wellington Water Ltd proposes to manage these risks; and

(iii)  agrees to support the proposal and recommend to shareholder councils that SWDC become a shareholder in Wellington Water Ltd.”


Memorandum dated 5 July 2019 by the Chair.

The Chair elaborated on the memorandum.

In response to a request from a member for an independent review, the Chair advised that the independent review would carry an additional cost.

Resolved(Deputy Mayor Bassett/Mayor Guppy) Minute No. WWC 19304(2)

“That the Committee recommends to the incoming Wellington Water Committee, following the local body elections, that a review of Wellington Water’s governance documents be undertaken in early 2020.”


There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 1.25pm.










Deputy Mayor D Bassett



CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 26th day of September 2019  


                                                                                      11                                               26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

12 September 2019




File: (19/1185)





Report no: WWC2019/4/205


Company Update Report


Purpose of Report

1.      To engage the Wellington Water Committee in topical issues.


That Committee notes and receives the report.


Powhiri for the Wellington Water Whanau

2.      Thank you for attending our Powhiri on 28 August 2019. The powhiri marked the occasion of all our suppliers coming together to act as one on behalf of our owner councils and our customers.

3.      The Powhiri also marked the successful completion of our service delivery strategy. It has been a big job but now all our suppliers are contracted to Wellington Water to focus on outcomes, work collaboratively and put the customer at the heart of everything we do.

4.      The final piece of the puzzle, our regional wastewater treatment contract, has provided significant value for money to our owner councils. Overall, compared to previous opex costs it looks like we will deliver an estimated $2M of opex savings back to our owner councils. Approximately, $1M in additional revenue will flow to WCC as savings - to be offset by increased tip fees. Approximately $1M will be provided in savings to HCC/UHCC.

5.      While Porirua will not get direct savings they will receive an increase in level of service due to the planned improvements in the plant. This together with the $6M PCC (including the recoverable portion from WCC) will invest in the plant over the next two years will lift performance of the plant considerably.

6.      With Veolia operating the PWWTP from 1 July 2019 we hope we have absolutely minimised the chance of another operator error which lead to the company being fined $67,500 in the High Court on 13 September 2019.

7.      We were convicted of illegal discharge. The discharge was caused by incomplete processes for a shutdown and a lack of communication between the individuals involved when problems started to emerge. The effects of the discharge were considered low due to reasonably quick mixing with sea water and no permanent damage to the environment.

8.      The overflow incident has reduced the trust the community and Ngati Toa has in Wellington Water to treat the region’s wastewater and look after the environment. We have committed to work with the community and Ngati Toa to rebuild this trust. This includes more access to the treatment plant and how it is performing as well as access to performance data.

Conserve versus Construct

9.      Over the last 12 months we have been engaging councils on their priorities ahead of the 21/31 Long Term Plan. Mark Kinvig presents a paper which summarises the direction from councils.

10.   A key theme arising from these discussions is the desire to conserve our resources rather than building our way out of steadily increasing demand. We totally endorse this approach of owner councils.

11.   To adjust the “conserve” strategy we need to understand more about our network and our users’ preferences so we can reduce leakage and encourage our residents to conserve water.

12.   We have included a paper on our “conserve” approach so you are aware of plans over the next couple of years.

13.   Leak detection and repairs are a key part of this plan. Last year we got caught out by an increase in the number of leaks in the network and the strong preference from customers to value water by getting onto leaks quickly.

14.   We have been working on a plan to get on top of surface leakages over the 19/20 summer. We are already experiencing difficulties getting everything complete but we will ensure we are on top of these prior to the onset of summer. We will have to be careful about the way we communicate our water conservation messages while we get on top of our leaks. The customer survey completed this year confirms that our customers make the connection between leaks (wasting water) and our messages to them regarding conservation.

Stakeholder and Customer Surveys Complete

15.   Awareness among residents of Wellington Water continues to rise, and is now at 70%, up from 60% in January 2019 and nearly double June 2017’s 38%. Interest in our activities is also the highest it’s ever been, with seven in 10 residents keen to know more about our activities and plans for the future.

16.   The increases could be linked to a decline in overall satisfaction in our services to 57% from 65% in January. As noted, much of this could be tracked back to dealing with leaks, and emphasises our need to get on top of this issue.
17. Our Stakeholder Survey shows that two-thirds of the people who we deal with the most are satisfied with their relationship with us, but there has been a dip in satisfaction amongst local government and our supply partners since last year.
18. Responses suggest that internal change has played a major role in this, affecting transparency and the experience of working with our people. But the survey also suggests the bar has been lifted, and expectations are higher compared to the previous year. Our senior managers are now working with their teams on ways to make these relationships stronger and less transactional.

Climate Change

19.   Following a good conversation between the Wellington Water Committee and the Board we present you with an update report in this agenda.

Customer Hub Fully Operational

20.   Thank you to those Wellington Water Committee members and councillors who visited our new customer hub. It has been a big transition for us synching in with your contact centres, getting on top of customer requirements and ensuring the jobs are completed and closing out the jobs.

21.   Every day we are getting better at what we are doing and we can see how this new way of doing business will improve customer service, be more agile around jobs and give us more control over how we respond.

22.   We are still building up our resource in the field and this will carry on until the end of the year. The impending end of Transmission Gully and the completion of the broadband roll out has resulted in some people entering the business which is positive.

First Stage of Omāroro Underway

23.   The Omāroro project will be built in two stages: Pipework followed by the reservoir itself. The pipework contract is underway and is a complex and difficult project as it involves closing major arterials in Wellington, building on people’s back door and cutting into our bulk water network.

24.   While a WCC/GWRC project, this work will substantially improve the provision of safe drinking water to the CBD and lift the resilience of the region should we experience a major event.

PCC Growth Planning Provided

25.   When a city grows, the infrastructure which supports the growth needs to be planned alongside. PCC have identified seven growth cells across the city which could be subject to growth over the next 20-30 years. For all seven areas we have completed the network planning task, determining the likely configuration of infrastructure to provide the three waters.

26.   This work is complex because not only do we need to support growth, we must ensure growth does not result in deterioration of the environment. This is a challenge in Porirua due to the condition of the wastewater network.

27.   We have completed the work and are now working with the PCC on how to integrate the work into everything else PCC are doing around growth.

28.   As Wellington Water has advised PCC, part of the problem regarding the performance of the wastewater network is the inflows and cross connections on the property side. For every inflow or cross connection fixed on the property side, the better the network performs.

29.   Fixed residential side problems with our wastewater network should be contemplated by all councils. The difficulty is in how to complete the works when the resident may well be unaware they are creating a problem.

We will have a Drinking Water Regulator

30.   No real surprises in here. The Government has scaled back its ambitious reform work to putting in place a regulator. The regulator may well comprise up to 160 staff requiring substantial funding to operate. However, we are not convinced that such a large workforce is necessary especially when there are so few people within the industry.

31.   We will have to think very carefully about how we try to retain some of our key staff who we have invested in over 10 years.

South Wairarapa District Council Becoming a Shareholder

32.   All five owner councils have now agreed to SWDC becoming a shareholder of Wellington Water. We have also reached agreement with the SWDC on how services are to be funded and managed, and that the entire setup will be reviewed in June 2021 to ensure everything is working well. This reflects Wellington Water’s experience that it takes 18 months for everything to settle before the model can really be understood and confirmed as being set up for success.

33     Wellington Water is currently providing services to SWDC under contract with respect to the Martinborough Water Treatment Plant and Featherston Wastewater Treatment Plant. Following SWDC joining, we will provide these services under the trusted advisor model.

34.   The SWDC did not choose to take up our proposal to build the Martinborough Water Treatment Plant as a turnkey project on a fast track basis because they believe our cost was too high.

The 20/21 Statement of Intent Process Begins

35.  It is hard to believe another year has passed by. The Statement of Intent process starts off with a Letter of Expectation from you to our Board by 15 December 2020. We look forward to discussing with you the emphasis you wish to give to the company going forward.

Briefing for Incoming Wellington Water Committee Members

36.  Assuming the Wellington Water Committee is formed prior to Christmas 2019, I think it would be a good idea to hold an out of committee cycle workshop so Wellington Water can brief incoming new members.

Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)



                                                                                      14                                               26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

12 September 2019




File: (19/1186)





Report no: WWC2019/4/206


Wellington Water Ltd - Draft Annual Report and Financial Statements


Purpose of Report

1.      To present the Draft Annual Report 2018/19.



It is recommended that the Wellington Water Committee receives the Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2018 as attached as Appendix 1 to the report.


2.      Wellington Water Limited is required to deliver an Annual Report within three months of the end of the financial year which includes the Annual Financial Statements.


3.      As Wellington Water Limited is a council-controlled organisation, the Office of the Auditor General is the appointed auditor of the company. As in past years, they have engaged Audit NZ to complete this year’s audit on their behalf.


4.      The draft Annual Report 2019 is included in Appendix 1. Audit NZ has yet to complete their final review; however we are not expecting any major changes. We will notify the Chair upon finalisation.

Financial Statements

5.      The Annual Financial Statements show a surplus before tax of $39k.  This was an excellent result in what was a challenging year of competing priorities.



Evaluation of Performance

6.      Wellington Water Limited has had a satisfying year as it has continued to improve its capability to deliver on its strategic outcomes. Overall performance has been pleasing given the increasingly demanding operating environment with several significant milestones achieved. There have been a few areas of performance where results could have been better.

7.      The company continues to develop at a fast pace in order to deliver to increasing customer expectations and to drive performance improvement. The final components of the three year service delivery strategy were achieved. These include implementation of the Alliance and the Contractor Panel, and completion of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. These service delivery improvements effectively position the company to continue to enhance customer service, deliver value for money, and to more consistently execute the delivery of its capital programme on behalf of its client councils. 

8.      Other significant achievements include bringing the customer hub in-house,  supporting the Water Committee to prepare a submission on the Government’s proposed water reforms and continuing to build strong central government relationships, progressed South Wairarapa District Council as a sixth shareholding council and re-organising large parts of the organisation. The company further developed a partnership approach with Mana Whenua and continued to engage strongly with its client councils on the emerging challenges around growth, sustainable water supply, receiving environment water quality and climate change.

9.      Areas where results could have been better are leak management, the Porirua wastewater overflow, and building positive working relations at all levels within each council.

10.   Our Statement of Intent sets out a number of measures by which we track our performance. Under the heading ‘Customer Experience’ we have included six measures that we see as outcomes based, and therefore we can influence but not control the result.  We have achieved the 2018/19 target on three out of six (50%) of these ‘outcome measures’; this is a fair reflection of the company’s progress towards these aspirational goals.

11.   For the remaining measures, the results are summarised below:

a.         Customer experience – seven out of eight (88%) were achieved or partially achieved

b.         Keeping the water running – 11 out of 17 (65%) were achieved or partially achieved

c.         How we work – 11 out of 13 (85%) were achieved or partially achieved (note, two measures were recorded at N/A and are not included in this calculation)

12.  Of the nine measures that were not achieved, excluding those considered outcomes; two were not met due to planned works and activities being placed on hold or deferred (measures 24 and 25); four are indicative of the work that is required to improve our service and interactions (measures 17, 26, 31 and 38); two reflect a failure to meet an agreed level of service (measures 11 and 19); an additional measure was due to a poorly constructed target (measure 36).






WWL Annual Report








Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 1

WWL Annual Report



























































                                                                                      73                                               26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

12 September 2019




File: (19/1187)





Report no: WWC2019/4/207


Delivering on Wellington Water Ltd's Outcomes


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to update the Wellington Water Committee on our strategic investment approach and how it will shape the Councils 2021/31 Long Terms Plan (LTP).


It is recommended that the Wellington Water Committee notes and receives the report.


2.    When Wellington Water was formed in 2014, we created a strategic outcomes framework that has been instrumental in our investment discussions with Councils over the past five years and is at the heart of our Three Waters prioritisation framework.

3.   The framework comprises our three outcomes of safe and healthy water, respectful of our environment and resilience networks that support our economy. Under each of our outcomes we have created 12 service goals which encompass the whole Three Waters task.  The intent of the framework is to increase focus on customer service outcomes over the long term.

4.   The framework continues to be developed as we refine levels of service and performance measures that align with our councils’ aspirations.

Emerging Challenges and Themes

5.   During the past 18 months as we have developed our catchment knowledge across the region, a number of key challenges have emerged, namely: growth, sustainable water supply, receiving environment water quality and climate change.

6.   The attached presentation (Appendix 1) sets out our strategic investment approach to date and how it will continue to identify emerging themes that will translate into our client councils’ LTPs activities over time.

Next Steps

7.   As we prepare for the 2021/31 LTP, our Three Waters plans will increasingly align with activities that respond to the key challenges.

8.   The advice we received from Alan Sutherland (Water Industry Commission for Scotland) confirmed that establishing a robust investment direction is the key when responding to long-term complex challenges.  We can refine our approach and develop increasingly robust performance measures as we deepen our understanding of investment effectiveness.

9.   There are some emerging examples.  The Sustainable Water Supply is noted below:

-      Our Sustainable Water Supply challenge has identified that we need to reduce our demand significantly within the next five years.  This is aligned with global trends and regional evidence.

-      We have identified a number of interventions that align with global best practice and are relevant to our regional network.  These are pressure management, network meters, targeted community engagement and operational leakage management.

-      This is not the full response to the Sustainable Water Supply challenge but we have sufficient confidence that it will contribute to the reduction in demand over time.  We will continue to refine our response based on trending performance metrics.

Maintaining a balanced investment plan

10. The key challenges identified in this report are significant and will require a long term commitment to achieve the desired outcomes for the region. The company’s LTP submission to councils will place emphasis on these specific areas to ensure that we start to make meaningful progress but we are very aware of the need to maintain service goal performance across the whole three waters task. To this end, we will be illustrating how best to achieve this balanced investment plan for each council to ensure that our customers continue to receive the standard of service that can be expected from a progressive water company.








Delivering on Our Outcomes - Board Sept 2019Final








Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 1

Delivering on Our Outcomes - Board Sept 2019Final












                                                                                      88                                               26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

19 September 2019




File: (19/1226)





Report no: WWC2019/4/212


Sustainable Water Supply


Purpose of Report

To update the Committee on our strategic and operational response to the region’s water supply demand and leakage.


It is recommended that the Committee notes and receives the report.



Wellington Water has initiated a strategic work-stream focused on the region’s sustainable water supply.  This issue has been identified as one of the key challenges that will require a series of interventions, which will be included in councils’ Long Term Plans (LTPs) going forward. The nature of the problem and opportunity has been presented to your councils during the past 6 months, where there was a unanimous agreement in principle to Wellington Water taking a conservation approach as opposed to focusing on planning to build another source or storage.

The initial strategic case work identified three key problem areas associated with the sustainability of our regional water supply, namely:

-      Demand will exceed capacity to supply (growth, consumption and leakage)

-      Our networks and sources are vulnerable

-      There may be less water available for us to use (regulatory constraints)

The most significant pressure on the region relates to the projected growth and unsustainable demand. 

Demand includes household and commercial consumption and leakage. Initial long term demand modelling identified water shortages in 2040 based on current demand and projected growth.  However, recent growth projection now suggests that water supply shortages will occur 5 years earlier, around 2035.  On the basis that source or storage development will take around 10 years to plan and deliver, we need to reverse the demand trend and initiate a significant reduction within the next 5 years.

The company has made some good progress over the past 6 months and is well positioned to deliver some pilot initiatives later in 19/20 and 20/21 which will provide a good foundation for the 2021/31 LTP investment.

We have formed a better understanding of data trends

As we’ve been developing this work, we have also formed a better understanding of trends in reported leaks on the network.  Reported leaks (those identified by our customers) have increased by over 40% over the last five-year period with a marked increased post the Kaikoura earthquake.

The Wellington Water Customer Operations Group (Alliance) who is charged with fixing these leaks was formed on 1 July.  They have inherited a backlog of leaks from last financial year and are faced with an ongoing high number of reported leaks consistent with the trend identified above. 

Responding to our most immediate challenges

We are currently working closely with your officers to look at options to respond to this immediate challenge of getting on top of these reported leaks.  We are looking to secure more resources both from within the Wellington region and across the country, looking to improve operational processes to ensure we are more efficient, and enhancing communications to manage customer expectations.  Longer term, we will need to consider funding to address the increase in reported leaks and investment levels for renewals recognising that our water network is ageing and fragile.

Long Term Plan interventions

Attachment 1 provides a strategic overview of the initial problem areas identified, the range of interventions that we are currently considering and the goal, which is to reduce our regional water demand by 20 litres per person per day over the next six years.

The attachment illustrates that our water supply demand cannot be reduced through a single intervention and will require a broad range of LTP activities to achieve the target. Many of the activities will need to be enduring to ensure sustainable achievement towards the goal.

There are a number of activities that we are considering in response to the demand issue, some of which are being developed for delivery within the forthcoming 12-18 months.  They are:

-      Increasing the number of pressure management devices on the network, to reduce leakage and usage quantities and better protect our fragile network in high pressure areas.

-      Increase the number of network meters to increase our understanding of consumption and demand, enabling more robust measurement, followed by targeted investment in councils’ LTP’s.  This targeted investment is likely to include a greater focus on operational leakage control, a potential increase in water main renewals and community engagement initiatives

-      Ongoing operational leakage response which will become increasingly targeted with improved data and information.

As part of the LTP 2021/31 submission to councils, we are likely to request an increase in the level of planned operational activities to target high network leakage areas and water network renewal rates.

Leak reporting methodology

As a first step, we have opted to improve our annual water loss reporting methodology, to provide a more robust representation from a statistical perspective.  We will be further refining our reporting approach within 12 months to align with global best practice.  Because this methodology is different to the old approach, the annual water loss percentage output number is different to the previous percentage value and includes a 95% confidence of the leakage being between a specific range.

The table below shows an example of output results from the old methodology vs the new approach at a regional reporting level using the same input information.

Annual Reporting Method

Regional Water Loss %

Old method (17-18)



New method (17-18)

Confidence interval




Old method (18-19)



New method (18-19)

Confidence interval




*Because of the way the annual reporting analysis works, individual leakage estimate results for each city vary considerably between years and between cities.  For example for 18/19 these vary from 11% to 35%, with confidence intervals of 0-24% and 29%-42% respectively. 

It is important to note, on a system where a significant element of demand is not metered, all water leakage methodologies make broad assumptions in the absence of robust data and information from measurement devices i.e. meters.  Because we have a relatively low number of meters in the network and at a household level, the output from this reporting methodology will continue to include a broad range value of leakage.

Notwithstanding the above, we are aware of a real increase in water leakage across the region.  This reinforces the case to improve our understanding of the issue, increase our investment levels in operational leakage programmes and introducing new initiatives in your LTPs to reduce demand over the next 5 years. This is well aligned with the region’s conservation approach to our water supply.






Sustainable Water Supply  Responses




Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 1

Sustainable Water Supply  Responses



                                                                                      93                                               26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

12 September 2019




File: (19/1193)





Report no: WWC2019/4/209


Update on the Government's Water Reforms


Purpose of Report

To invite discussion on the Government’s reform proposals and seek the Committee’s approval for the preparation of a select committee submission.


It is recommended that the Committee agrees to work together to develop a submission in response to the Government’s water reform proposals.


The Government has made a series of recent announcements regarding its water reform proposals including the introduction of a dedicated water regulator and changes to its National Policy Statements to tackle water quality issues.

It is recommended that the Water Committee work together to develop a submission on behalf of its councils in relation to the proposed drinking water regulatory regime. The select committee process is likely to be held in early 2020.


The Government is progressing its water reforms and there have been some recent announcements including the next stage of the three waters review and a discussion document on national direction for the essential freshwater programme.

A briefing was sent to all Water Committee members in August about the three waters review. The briefing has been updated to include the proposals for the essential freshwater programme and is attached (Attachment A).

The reforms are gathering strength and proposed changes are happening at different levels and intersect with other areas of reform such as urban development.

The main proposals for three waters are that there will be a central, dedicated drinking water regulator who will be responsible for overseeing the entire drinking water regulatory system. It is likely this regulator will also undertake some wastewater and storm water functions including nationally-prescribed environmental performance metrics, while regional councils will remain the primary regulators for the environment. Legislation will be drafted and introduced by the end of 2019.

The Government has also announced its plan to tackle water quality issues in New Zealand, with a focus on stopping further degradation and loss, reversing past damage, and addressing water allocation issues. The proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) will provide greater direction for regional councils on matters they must consider and requirements to be met when they are developing regional plans for freshwater. It gives effect to Te Mana o te Wai objective.

What is this likely to mean for us?

The company has some internal work underway to consider the impact of the introduction of a drinking regulator. The scope of the work will include:

·     Ascertaining exactly what is required by the new regulatory regime and what can be learnt other jurisdictions

·     Considering the impact on infrastructure – this will become clear as part of the long term investment programme development for councils’ next Long Term Plans

·     Considering the impact on the company.

Given the Government’s main concern appears to be with smaller councils that are underperforming, we do not expect increased water standards to impose a substantial burden in terms of upgrading owner councils’ drinking water assets. However, additional responsibilities such as increased monitoring and reporting and maintaining a register for non-council suppliers, will require investment.

The company will progress its preparation work at it moves towards regulation at a pace that aligns with the introduction of legislation. A bill that sets up the drinking water regulator is expected to be introduced by the end of 2019 and enacted by mid-2020.

It is not possible to ascertain at this stage how the proposed changes will impact on the broader region. The Government has indicated that central government funding will be made available to incentivise regional shared service arrangements. This could see movement within the sector and renewed interest from smaller councils in joining Wellington Water. There are currently no indications of timing around the availability of funding.

What should the Wellington Committee’s role be in shaping the regulatory regime?

A number of opportunities will arise to provide feedback on the Government’s proposals.

The main opportunity will be to comment on proposed legislation as part of the select committee’s public consultation process in early 2020, although there could be additional opportunities.

To make the greatest impact, it is recommended that the Water Committee look to make a submission on behalf of its owner councils’. The Government may be particularly interested in hearing from the Committee, seeing that it is the only voluntary shared service entity in New Zealand. However, the councils may also wish to make individual submissions.

Due to the nature of the legislative proposals, we think it’s likely there will be a high level of alignment between owner councils on issues and therefore efficiencies across the councils could potentially be gained if only one submission was prepared. 

Issues to be addressed

Some of the issues that we are aware so far include:

·    The regulator will be based in Wellington and we are led to believe could culminate in around 160 staff. These staff are likely to be used to work with non-council suppliers and assist with developing water safety plans. The staffing situation poses a considerable risk to Wellington Water’s resources and it will be vitally important that Wellington Water remains an attractive employer of choice as it navigates this challenge. Alternatively, a more collaborative approach could be put forward where the regulator works closely with water service providers to keep skilled people within the sector.

·    A substantial operating budget will be required to fund the regulator, and while this may be initially funded through Crown appropriations, local government may be levied for the longer term.

·    The Minister has indicated that DIA is currently working on a funding package to incentivise councils to develop shared service arrangements. Although the application criteria has not been published, we understand there will be an expectation that applications will only be received from councils considering working at a regional level.

Next steps

We will update the Committee on any further Government announcements.






Government's Water Reforms Attachment








Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 1

Government's Water Reforms Attachment






                                                                                     100                                              26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

20 September 2019




File: (19/1234)





Report no: WWC2019/4/213


Climate Change - First Steps to Change


Purpose of Report

1.    This report outlines Wellington Water Ltd’s (WWL’s) proposed approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Committee’s feedback.


It is recommended that the Committee notes and receives the report.


2.    The changing expectations of our communities, client councils and government require us to consider what further steps we need to take to manage the greenhouse gas emissions that are within our control, and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  At its climate change workshop in July the Water Committee directed WWL to continue to develop its proposed response to climate change.

3.   Following on from the direction given at the workshop, WWL proposes that the Water Committee:

a)    endorse the refined set of principles for WWL’s approach to climate change set out in Attachment 1.

b)    discuss, with reference to each Council’s own climate change objectives, the approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation that the Water Committee and client councils would like to direct through the next Letter of Expectations (LOE). This direction would be reflected in the subsequent Statement of Intent(s) and in the councils’ 2021/31 long term plans (LTPs) and could include targets for reducing operational carbon and capital emissions and WWL’s role in council-lead adaptation programmes.

c)   note the draft action plan and timeline for the activities WWL anticipates being required to support climate change adaptation and mitigation (as set-out in Attachment 2). Delivering on this action plan will require sufficient funding to be made available from our client councils.






Climate change Attachments








Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)





Attachment 1

Climate change Attachments



                                                                                     106                                              26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

13 September 2019




File: (19/1205)





Report no: WWC2019/4/210


Endorsement of strategic case for the ‘Receiving Environment Water Quality’ Future Service Study


Purpose of Report

1.    This report seeks the Wellington Water Committee’s endorsement of the strategic case developed for the Future Service Study (FSS) on Receiving Environment Water Quality.


It is recommended that the Committee endorses the strategic case and support the need for action and investment in relevant discussions within the client councils.


2.      Our programme of Future Service Studies is looking into the key strategic issues for water service delivery identified during the development of the Three Waters Strategy. The first step of each Study is to identify the strategic case for taking action (i.e. problem and benefit statements). The case is then used to develop the appropriate strategic response and action plan. Each council must then incorporate the action plan into its Long Term Plan (LTP) if the expected benefits are to be achieved.

3.      The ‘receiving environment’ refers to the waterways that Wellington Water discharges into, including streams, rivers and harbours. Our wastewater and stormwater discharges into these waterways affect their water quality, with consequential impacts on the environment and the communities that interact with them.

4.      The strategic case has identified that the key problems relate to the way the system has been managed, the ageing and fragile network, and community behavior and practice (see the ‘case on a page’ at Attachment A. The complete case is also provided for reference at Attachment B). These issues are being magnified by the impact of growth. Addressing these problems will improve urban water quality, increase community wellbeing and connection to water, reduce public health risks, and improve long-term system viability.

5.      Addressing receiving water quality is essentially a totally new service objective – the previous focus has been on preventing public health risks from wastewater and stormwater. Minimal funding has historically been directed to this objective. A significantly increased focus is required not only to achieve our strategic objective (‘respectful of the environment’) and associated service goals but to comply with national and regional legislative requirements and meet community and mana whenua expectations. 

The Future Service Studies build on the Three Waters Strategy

7.      The Three Waters Strategy helps us to plan for the long term by looking at how we expect our water services to evolve, and the challenges we expect to face, over the next 50-100 years.

8.      While developing the strategy we identified a number of issues that will have significant impacts on service delivery and the achievement of our customer outcomes where we needed to increase our knowledge and understanding. Our programme of Future Service Studies will identify the ‘case for change’ for each of these issues (the strategic case) and the necessary strategic responses. Strategic cases have been developed for sustainable water supply, wastewater sludge management and service resilience, and the development of the case for flooding and flood management is about to commence.

9.      The strategic case for the issue of receiving environment water quality is now complete and is starting to inform our response to water quality issues. This paper seeks the Water Committee’s endorsement of the strategic case and support for the development of funding proposals in the Long Term Planning (LTP) process. The strategic case has been developed through a series of workshops involving client council representatives together with mana whenua, Regional Public Health and Greater Wellington in its environmental regulation and compliance role.

The wider ‘system’ does not support good water quality outcomes

10.   The ‘receiving environment’ refers to the waterways that Wellington Water discharges into, including streams, the Hutt River and the two harbours; Te awarua-o-Porirua and Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Our wastewater and stormwater discharges into these waterways affect their water quality, with consequential impacts on the environment and the communities that interact with them.

11.   The stormwater system collects pollutants such as heavy metals, animal wastes and wastewater leaks and discharges these into waterways without any form of treatment. While most wastewater is treated prior to discharging to the ocean, engineered overflows of untreated wastewater occur in a range of locations across the network (principally in wet weather). Leaks and misconnections can also cause untreated wastewater to enter these waterways, with consequential adverse impacts. 

12.   The strategic case has established three core problems:

·    Our current stormwater and wastewater system and management is hampering our ability to meet obligations and expectations (and where obligations and expectations have changed since much of the system was designed)

·    Community behaviour and practice is impacting on stormwater systems and quality, affecting downstream communities and water quality (with some of this behaviour a consequence of the system they have been provided with).

·    An ageing and fragile network (including the private network) is increasingly vulnerable to leaks, infiltration, and overflows; leading to human health and cultural concerns.

13.   All of these problems will be magnified by growth if they are not adequately addressed.

The benefits of acting cut across all three customer outcomes

14.   The expected benefits of acting on this issue support all three of our customer outcomes: safe and healthy water, respectful of the environment, and resilient networks that support the economy. The benefits include:

·        Reduced risks to public health (i.e. urban waters safe for recreational and cultural use)

·        Improved urban water quality (i.e. supporting life and protected from contaminants)

·        Improved wellbeing and cultural connection to water (i.e. communities value our urban water, and its mauri is restored)

·        Improved long-term viability (i.e. expectations able to be met now and into the future).

Community expectations are reflected in emerging regulatory requirements

15.   The primary driver for this case has been the challenge of meeting existing and increasing expectations for water quality. These expectations are now also being reflected through a range of regulatory and legislative measures including:

·    GWRC’s Natural Resource Management Plan (NRP), that seeks to give effect to the current National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)

·    GWRC’s Whaitua process for Te awarua-o-Porirua has recommended water quality outcomes that exceed the minimum requirements of the existing NPS-FM, with similar requirements expected for Te Whanganui-a-Tara

·    the revised NPS-FM, that has recently been released for consultation, will impose even higher standards than the existing version

·    the Government’s water reforms and Essential Freshwater programme have clearly signalled there will be new national standards for wastewater and stormwater discharges that are expected to exceed our existing level of performance.

16.   Without interventions to the current approach our performance against our Service Goals and the associated levels of service will also decrease.

Enhanced water quality is a new ‘level of service’

17.   As outlined in the discussion above, the response to the receiving water quality issue requires a fundamental change in the way these services are delivered. It essentially creates a totally new level of service that has not previously been funded. Historically, the objective of our wastewater and stormwater systems has been to provide drainage services – removing the water to prevent public health impacts. The new requirement to also “clean up” the associated discharges[1] will require new infrastructure solutions and services that have not been required in the past.

Next steps

18.   The results of the strategic case are being used to inform the development of our response to this issue. This is expected to include an overarching policy and action plan similar to those we already have in place for safe drinking water. These will, in turn, influence the programme of work that we propose for inclusion in our client councils 2021/31 LTPs. We are also investigating potential ‘pilot’ projects that can demonstrate the impact of potential interventions and further refine the investment process.

19.   The Water Committee’s endorsement of this strategic case would reflect your support for the overall approach that we are taking, and the need for action and investment on this key issue. Responding to this issue will also require our client councils to consider how they wish to prioritise this issue alongside other water and infrastructure challenges.

20.   When considering this strategic case and its implications, Water Committee members might like to consider questions such as:

·    Does your Council understand the state of urban water quality in the cities and region?

·    If not, what information might you require to support prioritising funding and investment?

·    What is the priority of this issue relative to other water and infrastructure issues? Are you prepared to increase funding to deliver on this ‘new’ issue?

·    Are the consequences of the emerging regulatory framework understood? (i.e. NRP, whaitua, NPS-FM, new national standards, etc.)






REWQ Attachment A - REWQ Strategic Case on a Page



REWQ Attachment B - REWQ Strategic Case v0.8






Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)




Attachment 1

REWQ Attachment A - REWQ Strategic Case on a Page



Attachment 2

REWQ Attachment B - REWQ Strategic Case v0.8







































[1] The water discharged from the wastewater treatment plants has always been required to be ‘clean’ – the discharges referred to here are the overflows, bypasses and leaks in the network.