2                                       26 September 2019

Wellington Water Committee

 

Minutes of a meeting held in the Hutt City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor,
 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Thursday 26 September 2019 commencing at 1.00pm

 

 

 

 PRESENT:

Deputy Mayor D Bassett - Hutt City Council (Chair)

 

Mayor M Tana - Porirua City Council

 

Cr I Pannett - Wellington City Council

 

Cr J Brash - Greater Wellington Regional Council

 

Mayor V Napier – South Wairarapa District Council

 

Cr G McArthur – Upper Hutt City Council

 

Ms K Shelton - Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika)

 

APOLOGIES:                  Apologies were received from Mayor W Guppy, Upper Hutt City Council and Mr T Parai from Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira. 

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Cr R Leggett (Alternate Porirua City Council)

                                          Mr D Wright, Chair, 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

Mr M Ford, Chief Financial Officer, Wellington Water Ltd

Mr A van Paassen, Communications Engagement Manager, Wellington Water Ltd (part meeting)

Mr K Dentice, Senior Advisor Whaitua Relationships, Wellington Water Ltd (part meeting)

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

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

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

RESOLVED:  (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Mayor Tana)                 Minute No. WWC 19401

 

“That the apologies received from Mayor W Guppy  and Mr T Parai be accepted and leave of absence be granted.” 

 

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment.      

 

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS  

          There were no conflict of interest declarations.

 

4.       Minutes

RESOLVED: (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Brash)                        Minute No. WWC 19402

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Wellington Water Committee held on
Friday, 12 July 2019, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”

    

5.

Company Update Report (19/1185)

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

 

The Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) provided a brief summary of the events leading up to the company’s conviction for an illegal discharge in October 2018 in Porirua.  He advised the company was now working to restore trust with the Porirua community and with Ngati Toa and had made significant changes to the operation of the plant.  He also advised that the contract for operating the plant changed to Veolia from 1 July 2019 and Porirua City Council had approved a $6M upgrade to the plant, which would result in no wet weather discharges.  He explained the priority with the customer hub was to maintain and improve links between the company and Councils.  He advised that the growth cells work with Porirua had been highly successful and it was intended to develop the model for use with Councils within the Wellington region.

In response to a question from a member regarding the possible staffing levels of the new regulator, the Chief Executive of the company explained that no details had been released.  He noted the company was currently undertaking an analysis of staff with a view to implementing retention strategies so as to prevent staff being “poached” by the new regulator.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive of the company confirmed officers were working on creating better synergies between river modelling from Greater Wellington Regional Council and the company’s stormwater modelling.  The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning of the company added that it was expected that all developments for subdivisions for two or more dwellings would be stormwater neutral in the Wellington region.

In response to a query from a member regarding why South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) did not proceed with building the wasterwater treatment plant, Mayor Napier explained that the proposal presented by the company was more expensive than anticipated.  Officers were assessing an alternative way to provide the same result.  She acknowledged the urgent need for the new plant and advised of the differences between rural and urban local authorities.  The Chief Executive of the company added that it was the role of the company to produce an acceptable plan.

In response to questions from members regarding the backlog of repairing reported leaks, the Chief Executive of the company advised the transition period leading up to and since the change over on 1 July 2019 to the new contractor had been difficult.  He added there had been an increase in the number of leaks reported.  He advised he was confident the new delivery model would enable productivity gains to be made and that time was needed to embed the new model.  He acknowledged there was a large backlog of reported leak problems for crews to attend to and that the company was prioritising service leaks.  He further advised a new metric had been developed which would update Council officers weekly and members monthly.

In response to a question from a member regarding the summer water savings campaign, the Chief Executive of the company advised the campaign had commenced but was more subdued than in past years due to the number of leaks which still needed to be repaired.  He agreed there would be regular updates reported to the Committee.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive of the company explained priority 1 and 2 leaks were being dealt with as they were reported but that priority 3 leaks (those that produced dampness) were currently not able to be repaired due to the volume of priority 1 and 2 leaks.  He added priority 3 leaks should commence in early 2020 and that if Councils required faster responses, the operational budgets would need to be changed to reflect this.

In response to a question from a member concerning the future plans for the wastewater network (given that the stormwater network plans were advancing eg stormwater neutrality requirements for new subdivisions), the Chief Executive of the company explained the company was looking at the issue more holistically.  He added that communications with the public would be improved in this regard with an emphasis on explaining how improvements to the overall network would positively impact the environment.

 

Resolved(Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr McArthur)            Minute No. WWC 19403

“That Committee notes and receives the report and acknowledges the actions of Wellington Water Ltd in terms of keeping the Committee up to date.”

 

6.

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

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

 

The Chair, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report.  He expressed frustration that Audit NZ had not yet provided the final review of the draft Annual Report.  However, he  was confident the 30 September 2019 deadline would be met. 

The Chair of the company listed the highlights of the year as being the implementation of the service delivery strategy, the collaborative alliance partnership with Fulton Hogan and the new arrangements in place for the ongoing management of the wastewater treatment plants.  He added the company continued to attract and retain the right calibre of staff and that other strategies were progressing.  He further added the Board of the company recognised a period of consolidation was now required to embed the new intiatives.  He also listed the lowlights as being the Porirua discharge episode, the cost blowout of capex and the associated rebalancing works required and the reduction in customer satisfaction.  He summarised the forthcoming year as one of consolidation, improving callout rates, continuing sustainability of water supply works and responding to the requirements of the new water regulator.

In response to a question from a member regarding the Water Safety Plan, the Chair of the company explained the Ministry of Health had some concerns with the Water Safety Plan and the company was working to mitigate the highest risk areas.

The Chief Executive of the company acknowledged that consistency of terms was important and agreed that the term “client councils should be “owner councils”.

In response to a question from a member as to whether the company was shifting the focus of planning to manage stormwater in a different way, the Chair of the company advised that the company was committed to finding more sustainable ways to manage stormwater.

In response to a question from a member regarding the amount of water households were actually storing, the Chief Executive of the company advised it may be possible to obtain figures on exactly how much water each household was storing.  He added that when work crews were sent to repair leaks, they were capable of delivering and installing a water tank, taking the most difficult part of the process away from individual householders.

In response to a question from a member concerning the mana whenua partnership section contained in the Annual Report, the Chair of the company agreed to move the section to be separate from other partnerships and relationships, as this would help to elevate its status.  He further agreed that mana whenua should also have metrics and performance measurements to measure the company’s performance and that there may be better ways to express the relationship.

In response to a query from a member, the Chief Executive of the company acknowledged Te Mana O Te Wai, and the importance of the National Policy Statements.  He added that the company would also need to comply with the new water regulator.

 

Resolved(Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Pannett)                Minute No. WWC 19404

“That the Committee receives the technical draft Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2018 as attached as Appendix 1 to the report subject to the Chair sighting the satisfactory certificate from Audit NZ.”

7.

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

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

 

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report 

In response to questions from members, the Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning of the company agreed it could be useful to graphically illustrate what 20litres per day per person of stored water actually looked like.  He advised that the target storage amount was far from being met.

Members discussed water metering and whether it could be a single useful way to reduce water use and improve leak detection.  Members agreed the water meter issue was for individual Councils to consider. 

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning of the company advised that with improved metrics, additional information would be available for Councils to assist in its decision making.  It was noted that the cost of water in the future may be enough of a deterent for reducing useage and that it may cost approximately $100M to install water meters for the approximate 140,000 households in the region. 

 

Resolved(Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr McArthur)             Minute No. WWC 19405

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

8.

Sustainable Water Supply (19/1226)

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

 

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report. 

In response to a question from a member, the Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning of the company confirmed the company was in regular dialogue with Councils regarding their long term infrastructure asset management plans.

 

Resolved(Mayor Baker/Cr Brash)                                   Minute No. WWC 19406

“That the Committee notes and receives the report.”

 

9.

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

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

 

The Principal Advisor to the Chief Executive, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report. 

The Chair advised that due to the highly successful joint submission made by the company to the 3 Waters process, he recommended making joint submissions to the two Bills allowing time for input from each Council.  He added this would not prevent individual Councils preparing their own submissions. 

Cr Brash expressed support for the company’s preparation of joint submissions.  Cr McArthur also expressed support for joint submissions.  He added that the previous submission was highly regarded as numerous recommendations had been adopted.

Cr Pannett suggested both joint and individual Council submissions should be made as it was important for each Council to also have its own voice.

Mayor Tana expressed support for a joint and also individual council submissions as it was important the region spoke with one voice also allowing for individual situations to be highlighted.

Ms Skelton stated the mana whenua would like to present its own submission and would work with the Committee on a joint submission.   She asked whether there would be any resourcing assistance for mana whenua in achieving this work.  Members discussed the most practical way to assist with resourcing as this would be an ongoing factor in achieving a true partnership with mana whenua.

Mayor Napier advised that the Wairarapa Councils were investigating a joint submission and that the Greater Wellington Regional Council had produced helpful summary information concerning the proposed changes to the industry.  She added that the deadline for submissions was 31 October.  Members discussed the timeframe as it cut through the local body election time period with many Councils not meeting until November to appoint members to the Committee.

The Divisional Manager Democratic Services, Hutt City Council advised that the Committee was not disestablished at the end of the triennium even though its membership representatives may change after the local body elections.

 

Resolved(Deputy Mayor Bassett/Mayor Tana)              Minute No. WWC 19407

“That the Committee agrees to work together to develop a submission in response to the Government’s water reform proposals.”

 

10.

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

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

 

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report. 

Members noted that the company should be invited to be part of the Regional Climate Change Group.  They also noted there were many factors requiring detailed analysis and that as local body elections were about to occur, it would be valuable to allow the company’s staff to continue working with officers of each Council.  It was for the incoming Committee to address the issue post these elections.  Members acknowledged the work that had occurred to date.

 

Resolved:  (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Pannett)                Minute No. WWC 19408

“That the Committee:

(i)        notes and receives the report; and

 

(ii)     asks Wellington Water Ltd to continue to investigate options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for consideration in their councils’ respective 2021-2024 Long Term Plans, reinforcing the momentum generated by the joint Wellington Water Committee/Wellington Water Ltd’s workshop.”

 

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

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, Wellington Water Ltd (the company) elaborated on the report. 

Mayor Napier noted the work related to Councils who had reticulated stormwater systems.  She highlighted that South Wairarapa District Council did not have reticulated stormwater systems.

Mayor Tana asked that “and iwi” be incorporated in the Receiving Environment Water Quality Strategic Case report.

In response to a question from a member regarding iwi involvement in the formulation of the strategic case, the Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning of the company advised that Ms Solomon, Mr Dentice and Mr Love had been involved.  In response to a question from a member, heconfirmed the networks were the main focus, with the wastewater treatment plants then being assessed. 

 

Resolved:  (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Mayor Tana               Minute No. WWC 19409

“That the Committee endorses the strategic case and support the need for action and investment in relevant discussions within the client councils.”

12.     GENERAL BUSINESS  

          The Chair advised the Minister of Local Government had been invited to the formal partnership signings, but had been unable to attend due to the short notice.  The Minister had asked to be kept informed of the Committee’s progress.  He added the Minister was aware of the forthcoming submissions on the legislations.  He agreed to continue discussions with the Minister regarding transitional funding for new members of the Committee.

          Cr McArthur requested that in future, should an event occur again (similar to the Proirua discharge event), that members be given advance notice to prevent them firstly finding out through the media.

          Ms Skelton asked for confirmation that iwi partners remained members of the committee after the local body elections and how remuneration for iwi representation would be managed.  The Chair confirmed appointed iwi members remained unchanged after the local body elections and that the issue of remuneration would form part of a planned review of the Committee in early 2020.

          Members thanked the Chair for his hard work as Chair of the committee.

          Deputy Mayor Bassett thanked members for their commitment and dedication over the past three years.  He highlighted the chlorination and UV treatment of drinking water at Waterloo that had occurred; the improvements in community resilience with 22 above ground emergency water stations being established; the major changes undertaken in how the company delivered its services; the future challenges facing the management of water and the influencing of the water sector reforms that the company was involved with.  He concluded he was happy to welcome the new partners on board and that he was looking forward to working with the new Committee in the future.  He further thanked the Chief Executive of Porirua City Council for her liasion role and the Divisional Manager Democratic Services, Hutt City Council for her organisational role.

          The Chair of the company thanked members for their contributions and support of the company.

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 3.40pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W Walker                                                                                  Deputy Mayor D Bassett

Chief Executive                                                                                                      CHAIR

PORIRUA CITY COUNCIL