1                                        30 September 2022

 

Komiti Ngā Wai Hangarua|Wellington Water Committee

 

Minutes of a meeting held in the Hutt City Council Chambers,

2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Friday 30 September 2022 commencing at 10.00am

 

 

PRESENT:

Mayor C Barry (Chair) (HCC)

 

Mayor W Guppy (Deputy Chair) (UHCC)

 

Mayor A Baker (PCC)

 

Mayor A Beijen (SWDC)

 

Mayor A Foster (WCC) (via audio-visual link, from 10.19am)

 

Cr J van Lier (GWRC) (from 10.13am)

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

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Deputy Mayor H Swales  (UHCC Alternate)

N Hooper, Chair Māori Standing Committee, SWDC (Observer) (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

A Rutene, Deputy Chair Māori Standing Committee, SWDC (Observer) (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

J Miller, Chief Executive, HCC (via audio visual link)

W Walker, Chief Executive, PCC

B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor, HCC (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

D List, Project Director, Regional Water Reform, PCC

C Crampton, Chief Executive, Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

L Carroll, Board Chair, WWL

T Haskell, Group Manager, Network Development and Delivery, WWL (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

K Locke, Group Manager, Customer Operations, WWL

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

A van Paassen, Principal Advisor Strategic Communications, WWL

C Barker, Director, Regulatory Services, WWL

I Dennis, Transition Programme Manager, WWL

F Clark, Principal Advisor, Strategy, WWL

P Wells, Manager Service Planning, WWL

V MacFarlane, Manager, Communications and Community Engagement, WWL

N Crane, Principal Advisor to CE, WWL

A Hare, WWL Board Member (via audio-visual link)

L Southey, WWL Board Member (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

S McLean, General Manager, Corporate Services, GWRC (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

G Drake, Three Waters Transition Manager, WCC (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

C Matthews, Manager Waste, Water and Resilience, WCC (via audio visual link) (part meeting)

K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services, HCC (part meeting)

K Glanville, Senior Democracy Advisor, HCC

A Doornebosch, Democracy Advisor, HCC

V Gilmour, Administrator, Democratic Services, HCC (part meeting)

 

 

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/Mayor Baker)                      Minute No.   WWC 22401(2)

“That the apology received from Lee Rauhina-August be accepted and leave of absence granted.”

3.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

 

Cr van Lier joined the meeting at 10.13am.

Mayor Foster joined the meeting at 10.19am.

 

4.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

 

Speaking under public comment, Tony Stallinger believed that the Chair of the Wellington Water Committee (the Committee) had signed the Labour Party Constitutional Pledge (the Pledge). He noted the Pledge signed by party candidates had a requirement to observe the policy platform of the Labour Party. He said as the work of the Committee included the Three Water reform, this constituted a conflict of interest.  He asked the Chair to resign from the Committee.  

 

In response to a question, the Chief Executive of Porirua City Council said the signing of the Pledge by the Chair was not a pecuniary conflict of interest. She said as such this was not covered under the Local Authorities (Members Interest) Act 1968 and was considered an interest, not a conflict. She advised that elected members declared an Oath of Office. She highlighted the Oath of Office held more status than any agreement made to a political party. She advised no decision-making was required from the Chair of the Committee about the Three Waters reform so no conflict of interest existed. She said on no count was it a conflict of interest, and the seriousness claimed under public comment was incorrect.

 

Mayor Baker expressed concern with Tony Stallinger’s comments, and noted the Chair had been completely impartial in his role.  She asked that her concern be recorded in the minutes.

 

Speaking under public comment, Rob McDonald asked if the Chair of the Committee had a conflict of interest. He also asked if a conflict had been previously declared and if so, how it had been managed. He said he wanted to understand as a ratepayer and resident of Hutt City.

 

Speaking under public comment, Grant Quinn said he considered the Chair of the Committee had a conflict of interest. He noted the Chair of the Committee was on the Working Party for Three Waters reform. He asked the Chair of the Committee to resign.

 

In response to a question from a member, Grant Quinn said he was a declared member of the United Hutt team.

 

Speaking under public comment, Max Shierlaw considered the Chair of the Committee had a conflict of interest. He believed the Chair of the Committee had failed to declare the Pledge which resulted in a conflict of interest. He believed this was in direct conflict with the work of the Committee, especially with the Three Waters reform. He asked the Chair to resign from the Committee or for members to appoint a new Chair.

 

The Chair noted the only role he had held regarding Three Waters reform was as Mayor of Lower Hutt. He said the claims regarding a conflict of interest as being a member of the Labour Party and Chair of the Committee were untrue. He said the claims that the Labour Party could tell him what to do were untrue, and he had not signed anything to that effect. He said when standing as a Labour Party member in the public domain, he had stood by his values of transparency and honesty since being elected to Hutt City Council in 2013.

 

There were no conflict of interest declarations declared by members.

 

5.

Chair's Statement

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

6.       Minutes

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                                Minute No. WWC 22402(2)

 

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Komiti Ngā Wai Hangarua| Wellington Water Committee held on Friday, 29 July 2022, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”

7.       Reflections on the Last Three Years

The Board Chair of Wellington Water Limited (WWL) gave a presentation attached as pages 12 to 14 to the minutes.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive of WWL advised WWL had moved to a panel-based consultancy and contractor model. He said this would lift the total investment of work and address the backlog of issues across the network. He noted this had been completed before South Wairarapa District Council had joined the Committee as a shareholder. He highlighted that WWL was committed to supporting councils of distance and using local resources for required work. He noted WWL was building up these resources across the region, ensuring it provided the appropriate health and safety and other standards.          

 

8.

Three Waters Reforms - Department of Internal Affairs Roadmap to Day 1 (22/2338)

Report No. WWC2022/4/162 by Porirua City Council

 

The Project Director, Regional Water Reform, Porirua City Council elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the Project Director, Regional Water Reform said the National Transition Unit (NTU) established as part of Te Tari Taiwhenua |Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) was co-ordinating the Entity C asset management plan (AMP) process. He noted this process would move a little faster than WWL would undertake for an AMP process. He said he was working to understand what the extra costs would be from this. He advised there would be an opportunity to review the quality of asset information. He noted that WWL would discuss with each council the best way to gather this information. He said the information was needed for the high-level first draft NTU AMP by 31 October 2022. He noted this would go to a second draft early in 2023. He advised that a consultation process would be incorporated into councils’ draft AMPs. He said it would be important to ensure council priorities were reflected and aligned in the Entity C AMP process. He advised officers would confirm transition costs and establish a fair way for councils to contribute to these costs. He said officers were working through these budgets with the NTU.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive of WWL said WWL had requested $600k from transition funding from councils to complete the transition work. He considered $600k reasonable as a part of the funds from the NTU to councils. He advised shareholder councils could opt to pay WWL the $600k or take these funds out of the management fee. He highlighted if councils opted to take this out of the management fee, WWL would reduce the number of outputs provided to them.

The Chair noted that estimated transition funding costs to year two should be available within the next month. Members asked that once this information was available that it be considered by the Committee at its first meeting of the new triennium. 

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive, of PCC advised Mana Whenua that interests relating to the Three Water reforms were currently being addressed by DIA. She said if Mana Whenua wanted to attend Steering Group meetings going forward they would be welcome.

The Project Director, Regional Water Reform, PCC noted that Mana Whenua engagement regarding Three Waters reforms needed to be confirmed with DIA. He said the intent had been to undertake roadshows for Mana Whenua regarding the reforms. He noted he was not sure if these roadshows had been confirmed. He advised officers had sought further clarification from DIA.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Baker)                               Minute No. WWC 22403(2)

 

“That the Committee:

(1)   notes the Department of Internal Affairs’ three waters reform transition programme roadmap to day 1 of the new Water Services Entities attached as Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

(2)   notes that councils and Wellington Water Limited are actively engaging with this reforms process, including seeking further details of aspects of the reforms and the implications for WWL and councils.”

9.

Company and Governance Update - Wellington Water Limited (22/2244)

Report No. WWC2022/4/157 by (WWL) Wellington Water Limited

 

The Board Chair of WWL elaborated on the report. She said the Board of WWL was looking forward to working on the development of the investment and service delivery snapshots for each council. She noted the Board believed this was a critical way to take regional-based Statements of Intent and include these in service delivery outcomes for each council.

The Chief Executive of WWL elaborated on the report. He said WWL staff had delivered the first stage of this work to officers at Wellington City Council. He said WWL would continue to work through non-compliance issues across wastewater treatment plants. He noted WWL was planning to create a buffer to manage these in the future. He said WWL had sent notice to Taumata Arowai forecasting an uneven delivery of CO2 for the provision of safe drinking water. He noted the supply of CO2 was strained as a result of a reduction in manufacturing in New Zealand. He said there had also been a recent fault at the Kapuni water catchment in Taranaki. He advised that Taumata Arowai was working with the Hīkina Whakatutuki |Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on CO2 delivery as a national issue. He noted WWL would update councils on the issue every week.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive of WWL advised WWL was comfortable with the performance and relationship with Veolia. He undertook to follow up on the calculation of the customer complaints measure with individual councils. He noted this would include how to resolve long response times for Mana Arotake Aotearoa | Audit New Zealand. He advised WWL would provide information on the condition of assets to shareholding councils going forward. He noted the batch water pipes renewal initiative was to find and resolve groups of issues with water pipes in one area.


 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Beijen)                               Minute No. WWC 22404(2)

 

“That the Committee receives and notes the report.”

 

 

 

10.

2022/23 Investment and Delivery Snapshot (22/2245)

Report No. WWC2022/4/158 by Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

 

The Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, WWL elaborated on the report. She introduced Pete Wells, the new Manager of Service Planning at WWL. She noted the new Investment and Delivery snapshot reports would provide a basis for quarterly performance discussions between WWL and shareholder councils.

Members gave feedback on the template for the 2022/23 Investment and Delivery Snapshot. Members asked WWL staff to consider including a pictorial option in the snapshot to highlight the risk and the level of council investment.

In response to a question from a member, the Group Manager, Network Strategy and Planning, WWL said WWL would consider the affordability and viability of assets as part of asset management planning for 2022/23.  She noted WWL was currently preparing annual plan advice for councils as part of supporting asset management planning.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Cr van Lier)                                  Minute No. WWC 22405(2)

 

“That the Committee:

(1)   notes and discusses the concept prepared by Wellington Water Limited; and

 

(2)   endorses the concept of individual council investment and delivery snapshots.”

 

11.

Actions to Manage Metropolitan Wellington's Water Supply and Usage Risk (22/2246)

Report No. WWC2022/4/159 by Wellington Water Limited (WWL)

 

The Group Manager, Customer Operations, WWL elaborated on the report.

 

In response to questions from members, the Group Manager of Customer Operations, WWL noted effective communication and education around water use would be required in the future to manage leakage. He said WWL staff needed to discuss with councils how operational activities could be reprioritised.

 

In response to questions from members, the Principal Advisor, Strategy, WWL said the reason for the sudden increase in water consumption levels was unclear. He noted the establishment of a focus group to identify the underlying causes. He said WWL considered water metering requirements should be brought forward to manage water use. He advised investment in a new water source would be included in the Entity C AMP. He noted WWL had reviewed costings for extra water storage lakes. He said WWL was now completing further work to understand the risks around this. He noted WWL supported this investment advice together with the use of water meters as a way forward into the Entity C AMP. He said WWL staff could consider making internal dashboards on water use and leakage more visible. He noted emergency access to the Te Mārua water treatment plant would be developed to provide access in the event of a fire. He advised that WWL would consider how to incorporate investment needs for Entity C into communications for 2023.

 

Mayor Guppy left the meeting at 11.41am and rejoined the meeting at 11.54am.

 

In response to questions from members of the Group Manager Customer Operations, WWL said WWL was considering maintenance activities that could be deferred to focus on finding and fixing water leaks. He noted if WWL was unable to make an impact on reducing leakage in the short term then further resources or restrictions would be needed. He highlighted the current shortage of experienced staff in the region to support this work.

 

The Chair noted a press release would follow the Committee’s decision which would highlight the focus on the management of priorities and significant leaks.

 

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Baker)                               Minute No. WWC 22406(2)

 

“That the Committee:

 

(1)   notes that water usage in metropolitan Wellington continues to be at an all-time high due to a recent sharp rise in leakage in both councils’ public networks and customers’ private properties as per Wellington Water Limited’s (WWL) earlier advice to the Committee in July 2022;

 

(2)   notes that councils as the asset owner and funder, and WWL as the water services provider, have regulatory obligations under the Water Services Act 2021 (Taumata Arowai) to ensure that a sufficient quantity of drinking water is provided to consumers;

 

 

 

(3)   notes that WWL will be activating our Drought Management Plan for metropolitan Wellington, which includes putting in place residential water restrictions (on behalf of councils) and standing up emergency responses if water usage in local areas exceeds the ability to treat and supply water in the summer months;

 

(4)   notes that immediate interventions to water leakage are needed to reduce the impact on customers and to reduce the severity of water restrictions required this summer;

 

(5)   notes that WWL has reprioritised its allocated operational funding and activities to focus on the highest priority interventions such as identifying and fixing the most significant leaks on the public network;

 

6)    notes that WWL will advise councils of the impacts of this as it is likely other operational activities on the network will need to be delayed or not completed, and this will have an impact on customers;

 

(6)   endorses all metropolitan councils to play an active role with WWL in the communications and engagement around these risk;

 

(7)   endorses all metropolitan councils to be prepared to use existing bylaws to address unresolved non-compliances associated with significant leaks and water wastage on private properties; and

 

(8)   notes that WWL will provide the Wellington Water Committee and councils with regular updates on the effectiveness of our interventions and provide advice at the December 2022 meeting if further support and more aggressive interventions are needed from Councils.”

 

12.     Information Item

 

Wellington Water Committee Forward Programme 2022 (22/2242)

Memorandum dated 6 September 2022 by the Democracy Advisor

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Mayor Guppy)                   Minute No. WWC 22407(2)

 

“That the Committee receives and notes the Forward Programme for 2022 attached as Appendix 1 to the memorandum.”

 

Mayor Barry thanked members and officers for their contributions to the Committee over the triennium. He noted Cr van Lier was not standing for re-election and wished him well in his future endeavours.

13.

Closing formalities - Karakia Whakamutunga

Unuhia!

Unuhia!

Unuhia i te uru-tapu-nui

Kia wātea, kia māmā

Te ngākau, te tinana, te wairua i te ara takatū

Koia rā e Rongo whakairihia ake ki runga

Kia wātea, kia wātea!

Ae rā, kua wātea!

Hau, pai mārire.

Release us from the supreme sacredness of our tasks

To be clear and free
in heart, body and soul in our continuing journey

Oh Rongo, raise these words up high

so that we be cleansed and be free,

Yes indeed, we are free!

Good and peaceful

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 12.04 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor C Barry

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Walker

Chief Executive
PORIRUA CITY COUNCIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chair’s Statement

 

Wellington Water Committee – 30 September 2022

 

This past term has been like no other. The pandemic has of course dominated much of the last three years and has thrown tremendous challenges our way. 

 

We’ve seen an increase in adverse weather events due to our changing climate, with this year’s winter being one of the wettest on record, causing wide disruption across the region. 

 

On that note, I want to acknowledge our transport team, and emergency and contract workers who have worked tirelessly to resolve and lessen the impact on the communities most affected by recent weather events. The Wellington Water team has been part of that.

 

We have been working hard to address our water network challenges and deal with a trifecta of issues – underinvestment, an ageing network and population growth. Alongside this, we have had to navigate the Government’s three waters reforms and how councils individually, and Wellington Water collectively respond to that.

 

Looking ahead, there is plenty to focus on. Maintaining workforce capability will be critical for improving the work that is needed on the ground. How we best deliver our communities with safe, clean and affordable water services, against the backdrop of three waters reform and pending legislation, will continue to be a priority. And with whatever reform and change look like, make sure Wellington Water can continue to ramp up its investment as outlined in councils long-term plans.

 

Working through these challenges will continue to require a great deal of teamwork as has been so clearly demonstrated over the term. 

 

And on that note, I would like to thank all of the Committee members who have contributed this term, Wendy Walker as the lead Chief Executive, Colin, Linda and all of your team over the past three years.

 

Finally, I just wanted to touch on, after this session we will have a workshop to help enable Wellington Water to think about the key issues and focus areas from a committee perspective, to present to the new Committee. This is designed to ensure work can move faster, because in the current environment, we want the new Committee to be ready to go from day one in considering key issues and setting their focus.