1                                                   29 July 2022

Komiti Ngā Wai Hangarua |Wellington Water Committee

 

Minutes of a meeting held via Zoom on

 Friday 29 July 2022 commencing at 10.00am

 

 

PRESENT: (via audio visual link)

Mayor C Barry (Chair) (HCC)

 

Mayor W Guppy (Deputy Chair) (UHCC)

 

Mayor A Baker (PCC)

 

Mayor A Beijen (SWDC)

 

Mayor A Foster (WCC)

 

L Rauhina-August (Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika)

 

Cr J van Lier (GWRC)

 

APOLOGIES:                  Andrea Rutene, Deputy Chair Māori Standing Committee, SWDC (Observer)

 

IN ATTENDANCE:        Deputy Mayor H Swales  (UHCC Alternate)

  (via audio visual link)       Deputy Mayor T Lewis (HCC Alternate)

Cr R Leggett (PCC Alternate)

Cr I Pannett (WCC Alternate)

J Miller, Chief Executive, HCC

N Hooper, Observer SWDC

W Walker, Chief Executive, PCC

B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor, HCC

S Proctor, Chief Infrastructure Officer, WCC

S McLean, General Manager, Corporate Services, GWRC

C Crampton, Chief Executive, WWL

C Barker, Director, Regulatory Services, WWL

                                          L Carroll, Chair WWL Board

L Southey, WWL Board Member

A Hare, WWL Board (part meeting)

D List, Project Director, Regional Water Reform, PCC

M Ford, Group Manager Business Services/Chief Financial Officer, WWL

T Haskell, Group Manager, Network Development and Delivery, WWL

J McKibbin, Group Manager, Network Management Group, WWL

J Alexander, Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, WWL

N Crane, Principal Advisor to CE, WWL

F Clarke, Principal Advisor, Strategy, WWL

                                           A Doornebosch, Democracy Advisor, HCC

                                           K Davey, Democracy Advisor, HCC

                                           H Clegg, Minute Taker, HCC

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.       OPENING FORMALITIES - Karakia Timatanga     

Whakataka te hau ki te uru

Whakataka te hau ki te tonga

Kia mākinakina ki uta

Kia mātaratara ki tai

E hī ake ana te atakura

He tio, he huka, he hau hū

Tīhei mauri ora.

Cease the winds from the west
Cease the winds from the south
Let the breeze blow over the land
Let the breeze blow over the ocean
Let the red-tipped dawn come with a sharpened air. 
A touch of frost, a promise of a glorious day.

 

 

2.       APOLOGIES

RESOLVED:  (Mayor Barry/Cr van Lier)                             Minute No.   WWC 22401

“That the apology received from Andrea Rutene be accepted and leave of absence granted.”

3.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

 

4.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

There were no conflict of interest declarations.

 

5.

Chair's Statement

The Chair provided a verbal update attached as page 11 to the minutes.

 

Resolved:  (Mayor Barry/ Mayor Foster)                                  Minute No. WWC 22402

 

“That the Chair’s Statement be accepted.”

 

6.       Minutes – 27 MAY 2022

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                                  Minute No. WWC 22403

 

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Komiti Ngā Wai Hangarua |Wellington Water Committee held on Friday, 27 May 2022 be confirmed as a true and correct record.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.       Transition Planning for Three Waters Reform

A presentation was provided by Dougal List, Project Director, Regional Water Reform, PCC attached as pages 18 to 21 to the minutes. He noted more information was expected from the National Transition Unit (NTU). He added that new Steering and Working Groups had been established. He said increased engagement with all authorities in Entity C would occur over the next month.

 

In response to questions from members the Project Director, Regional Water Reform, PCC advised it was unclear what funding would be provided after initial transition funding had been used. He said the NTU had indicated if the initial budget was not enough it would be open to discussing this further. He said the Working Group would consider a programme budget of indicative costs. He noted the challenges with this as no clear forward programme had been established by the NTU. He said they would discuss reform costs already met by councils with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to see if these could be reimbursed. He advised they would discuss with the NTU any future transition costs to councils and how these could be managed. He said the NTU would focus asset management plans (AMPs) on how the Wellington region could feed into the NTU processes. He advised DIA’s early focus on the AMPs had been on understanding borrowing, investments and costs. He advised DIA had undertaken investigations to understand ownerships and holdings. He said that no information had been released from the DIA regarding charges for three waters services. He added that from 1 July 2024 the new water service entities would be responsible for billing customers. He noted that the DIA’s road map was currently being developed. He said the Allocation Schedule in the Water Services Bill would outline assets and systems to be transferred from councils. He said that councils should expect the next request for proposal process to include requests for detail on property ownership, and transfers of assets.

 

In response to questions from members the Chief Executive, WWL added that WWL was continually growing its asset management systems. He advised it was preferable if the NTU had a clear understanding of all assets as soon as possible. He noted that WWL needed to ensure its planning for each council’s water assets was in line with any future NTU requirements. He noted that all AMPs had been developed using the most up-to-date information and funding commitments from each council. He said WWL staff would be happy to revisit the AMPs with councils.

 

L Rauhina-August left the meeting at 10.42am and rejoined the meeting at 10.45am.

8.

Company and Governance Update (22/1750)

Report No. WWC2022/3/117 by Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

 

The Board Chair, WWL advised that testing of the new Te Mārua and Gear Island fluoridation plants would occur over the next two weeks. She advised work on the WWL Statement of Intent was continuing.

 

The Chief Executive, WWL elaborated on the report. He said a number of councils had significantly increased investment levels which enabled more work to be planned. He noted that WWL resources had also been increased to deliver larger work programmes. He advised an issue facing WWL was improving the quality of data received from councils to ensure it was reliable for use in asset management planning.

 

Mayor Beijen queried the wording included in part (2) (i) of the staff’s recommendations. He considered that insufficient financial data had been provided by WWL staff. He noted, as a result, South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) was not in a position to allocate exact Long Term Plan (LTP) funding to enable the wastewater treatment plant to become compliant. He suggested that part (2)(i) of the staff’s recommendation should better reflect the situation. He noted SWDC’s extreme dissatisfaction.

 

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive, WWL advised that part (2) of the staff’s recommendations related to the level of investment being undertaken at present in the South Wairarapa wastewater treatment plants. He said because of this, the current compliance of the treatment plants, as noted in the dashboard, was unlikely to improve. He said that WWL had provided information for SWDC to make an informed decision on the level of funding required for the next three years. He noted that WWL   understood there was flexibility in the SWDC’s budget to complete the wastewater treatment plant investment plan for its LTP. He said two isolating valves had recently been installed in pipes after the Dixon and Victoria Street failures. He noted that this had prevented discharge into the environment when another breakage had occurred. He added that as a result of additional funding WWL had been able to undertake more pre-storm preparation work. He noted operational funding for planned and reactive issues was restricted due to escalating costs. He added that WWL had set budgets across networks based on what WWL believed was possible to achieve. He noted that due to insufficient investment in the past there was a backlog of issues to remedy. He said the increasing leakage trend after 2016 could be attributed to the Kaikoura earthquake. He noted that leaks had been detected in both public and private networks. He said if major leaks were fixed this could delay any requirement for more water storage. He advised a new Opex Optimisation Tool had been developed to deliver risks. He said this would also provide options to rebalance funding for member councils. He said this would be included in the end-of-Quarter One report for all councils. He added that increasing staffing capacity was a priority. He advised WWL was working with their upskill programme and Mana Whenua to enable iwi Māori contracting into the future. He said they would send to members the data on workforce capability and skill programme work completed for Māori.  

 

In response to a question from a member, the Group Manager, Network Development and Delivery, WWL advised that WWL had provided information to SWDC concerning what would be required for the wastewater treatment plant to become compliant. She noted the next step would be how much those compliance requirements would cost and how long would they take.

Mayor Foster foreshadowed an additional recommendation asking WWL officers to report on options for an augmented water supply and demand/waste reduction. He further foreshadowed an additional recommendation asking for a more detailed breakdown of utilisation of OPEX and CAPEX budgets (by council).

The meeting adjourned at 11.22am and resumed at 11.30am.

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                                            Minute No. WWC 22404

“That the Committee:

(1)   notes high and increasing water demand is expected to require the use of outdoor water use bans to maintain water supply in the Wellington metropolitan area this summer (Level 3 water use restrictions);

(2)   notes the South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) wastewater treatment plants continue to be non-compliant, and

(i)   SWDC has requested that Wellington Water Limited provide a costed year by year plan to rectify non-compliance to allow budget re-allocation in the current Annual Plan (2022-23) and in future financial years; and

(ii)   notes the ongoing non-compliance of treatment plants increases the likelihood of enforcement action by the environmental regulator;

(3)   notes the very high criticality assets condition assessment programme has identified the assets in need of urgent resolution; and

(4)   asks Wellington Water Limited to report on:

(i)    options for an augmented water supply and demand / waste reduction; and

(ii)   a more detailed breakdown of utilisation of OPEX and CAPEX budgets (by council).”

 

9.

Martin Jenkins Inquiry into Fluoridation (22/1767)

Report No. WWC2022/3/118 by Wellington Water Limited

 

Speaking under public comment, Mary Bryne, representing Fluoride Free New Zealand tabled her written statement attached as pages 12 to 17 to the minutes.

 

In response to a question from a member, she said that the information she had tabled was publicly available. She believed that some of the data the Ministry of Health (MOH) relied on were 14 years old. She believed the MOH should revisit the fluoridation issue and fully investigate differing views.

 

Members noted that the Committee was not considering whether fluoridation of water was a legal requirement or not.

 

 

 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mark Atkin agreed with the comments made by the previous speaker. He believed there was no legal requirement to reinstate fluoridation of water through the Te Mārua and Gear Street Treatment Plants. He considered that it made more fiscal sense to spend the money on other things.

 

Speaking under public comment, James Nicholas agreed with the comments of the previous speakers. He believed it was time local government made a public stand against fluoridation to provide a balanced debate. He believed the effects of sugary foods and drinks had more of a negative impact on oral health than any possible positive effects from the fluoridation of water.

 

Mayor Foster left the meeting at 11.54am and rejoined the meeting at 11.55am.

The Director, Regulatory Services, WWL elaborated on the report. 

Members asked staff for a clear pathway for delivering an asset management plan. They further asked for an outline of who would be responsible for this, funding requirements and a timeframe for delivery.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive, WWL advised that the pace at which WWL could address asset management was dependent on the level of investment from each council. He said the new quarterly Opex Optimisation Tool reports would assist council officers. He advised this would also provide an understanding of where WWL operational expenditure occurred. He noted this would assist in developing the asset management plans. He said the NTU requirements for these plans were not yet finalised. He advised officers could provide 2024-2027 WWL work programmes including areas needing further investment.

Mayor Foster foreshadowed an additional recommendation asking WWL staff to provide a proposal for an asset management plan for consideration at the next Committee meeting. Mayor Foster asked this include a plan for the collection of asset condition data, funding requirements and a timeframe for delivery.  He further requested advice on who would provide the work, with the necessary skills and resources.

 

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/ Mayor Foster)                                             Minute No. WWC 22405

 

“That the Committee: 

 

(1)      receives the final report; 

 

(2)      notes that the Board of Wellington Water Limited has accepted the findings and recommendations;

 

(3)      notes Wellington Water Limited’s implementation plan; and

(4)   asks Wellington Water Limited to provide by the next Wellington Water Committee meeting, a detailed proposal for producing an asset management plan including:

(a)    a plan for collection of asset condition data;

     (b)    who will provide the work with the skills and resources required;

       (c)     any funding requirements; and

(d)    the timeframe for delivery.”

 

10.

Wellington Water Limited - Final Statement of Intent 2022-25 (22/1752)

Report No. WWC2022/3/119 by Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

 

The Principal Advsior, Strategy, WWL elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Cr van Lier)                                      Minute No. WWC 22406

 

“That the Committee:

(1) notes that the Wellington Water Constitution requires:

(a)   the Wellington Water Board to deliver the completed Statement of Intent 2022-25 to the Committee; and

(b)   the Wellington Water Committee to consider Wellington Water Limited’s final Statement of Intent 2022-25;

(2)   notes the draft of the Statement of Intent was provided to the Wellington Water Committee on 18 March 2022 and the subsequent feedback has been incorporated; and

(3)   receives the final Statement of Intent 2022-25 for Wellington Water Limited.”

 

11.

Fluoridation and Regional Wastewater Plant Review Update (22/1753)

Report No. WWC2022/3/120 by Wellington Water Limited

 

The Director, Regulatory Services elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Guppy)                                 Minute No. WWC 22407

 

“That the Committee: 

(1)   notes that Wellington Water will recommence adding fluoride at Te Mārua and Gear Island water treatment plants in September 2022; and

 

(2)   notes in relation to the Regional Wastewater Review that: 

 

(a)   recommendations are substantially complete;

 

(b)   Raveen Jardum has completed a return visit and will provide a recommendation on closing the review by September 2022; and

 

(c)   a final close-out report will be provided at the next Committee meeting.” 

 

 

12.

Stimulus Funding Programme Close-out Report (22/1754)

Report No. WWC2022/3/121 by Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

 

The Chief Executive, WWL elaborated on the report. He advised it was preferable that funding streams in the future be continuous in nature. He said this would enable certainty for future programming.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                                   Minute No. WWC 22408

 

“That the Committee: 

 

(1)   notes the government allocated $47.3M to the Wellington Water owner councils for expenditure on three waters; 

 

(2)   notes the fiscal stimulus fund has been executed on time and to the full amount;  

 

(3)   notes that Crown Infrastructure Partners require a formal close-out report attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and  

 

(4)   notes the outcomes and outputs achieved by the fund and the views of Wellington Water Limited on the overall success of the fund and lessons learnt.“ 

 

13.

Value for Money Six Monthly Report (22/1768)

Report No. WWC2022/3/122 by Wellington Water Limited

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Baker)                                   Minute No. WWC 22409

 

“That the Committee: 

 

(1)   receives the Six Monthly Value for Money report attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)   notes the impact of older network infrastructure.

 

14.

Proposed Change to the Meeting Schedule for 2022 (22/1757)

Memorandum dated 11 July 2022 by the Democracy Advisor

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                                   Minute No. WWC 22410

 

“That the Committee:

 

(1)   notes that at its meeting held on 29 November 2021, the Committee identified a tentative date of 25 November 2022 for its first meeting after the local body elections;

 

(2)   agrees to change the meeting date from 25 November 2022 to Friday 16 December 2022 at 10.00am; and

 

(3)   confirms the venue for the meeting will be the Council Chambers, Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt.”

 

15.     Information Item

 

Wellington Water Committee Forward Programme 2022 (22/1290)

Memorandum dated 11 July 2022 by the Democracy Advisor

Members asked officers to ensure a pathway for delivering an asset management plan was included in the Forward Programme.

 

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Baker)                        Minute No. WWC 22411

 

“That the Committee:

 

(a)    receives and notes the Forward Programme for 2022 attached as Appendix 1 to the memorandum; and

 

(b)    requests the reports on augmented water supply and demand, and the breakdown of the utilisation of opex and capex budgets (by council) be added to the Forward Programme for the next Committee meeting.”

 

16.     EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Resolved:   (Mayor Barry/Cr van Lier)                                     Minute No. WWC 22412

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

17.     Minutes 27 May 2022

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:

 

(A)

(B)

(C)

 

 

 

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 Komiti Ngā Wai Hangarua  |Wellington Water Committee held on 27 May 2022: Appointment of Director to Wellington Water Limited

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 public part of the meeting closed at 12.06pm.  The non-public part of the meeting closed at 12.16pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor C Barry

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 30th day of September 2022

 

29 July 2022 Wellington Water Statement - Kia ora, for my Chair’s Statement I’d just like to start by covering off the fluoride matter that we are all aware of.

Fluoride

The report from the fluoride inquiry released earlier this month highlighted a range of shortcomings that contributed to the fluoride issue across the region.

Unsurprisingly, the report got a decent amount of attention and commentary.

Wellington Water has taken responsibility, the Board has accepted the report’s findings and recommendations, and work is underway to implement them.  

Wellington Water has set a timeframe to have fluoride delivered back into the water supply in September. There will be more to share on this at the Committee meeting today.

Three Waters Reform

Three Waters was a key focus of discussions at last week’s Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference.

Reflections from the LGNZ conference.

The acknowledgement of the toll on councils, and funding to support that

— 3 waters to 2, what that would mean for WW councils. 

Weather event

-            Acknowledge efforts of everyone on the ground

Stimulus Money target met

It’s great to see Wellington Water has successfully delivered $47.3 million of investment in the region’s three-waters infrastructure, through the government’s stimulus funding.

Nearly half of the funding went towards activities that Wellington Water has not previously been able to address in any significant way. These include carrying out a detailed investigation of critical assets which if they failed, could have major impacts on people or the environment. This work has reduced that risk which is great to see.

This has helped the organisation fix significant leaks and bursts within target times, with water quality results improving on the whole. There is still more work to do however on less urgent repairs, which are taking longer to carry out.

What’s pleasing is that the organisation has delivered this investment within the government’s deadlines. And this work has demonstrated exactly why more investment is needed in the sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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