South Wairarapa District Council joins Wellington Water
South Wairarapa District Council today became a joint owner of Wellington Water, and from 1 October 2019 become the sixth council to benefit from the council-owned company’s water management services.
Wellington Water was formed in 2014 by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Lower Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington city councils to provide dedicated management of council water infrastructure and operations.
“We’re delighted to have South Wairarapa on board,” said David Bassett, the chair of Wellington Water’s shareholder committee and Deputy Mayor of Hutt City.
“It’s not a new relationship, as Wellington Water staff have helped the council with water quality issues affecting Martinborough before, so we look forward to building on our existing relationships, learning more about what the council wants for the region, and to providing excellent service for the people of South Wairarapa.”
Mr. Bassett said that the people of South Wairarapa can feel comfortable because Wellington Water has a 200-strong team and a lot of experience facing the challenges of the water sector.
“Central Government is looking at reform of the three waters area, with legislation for regulation of safe drinking water expected. Providing safe and affordable water services will continue to present challenges for smaller councils.”
Mayor Viv Napier said South Wairarapa Council’s decision was a positive step for the community.
“It is vital that our community has confidence in the safety of their drinking water, and in the environmental performance of their waste and storm water systems.
“Wellington Water will be able to provide our council with expertise and efficiencies on a scale that we could not afford as a small council. This move makes good sense.
Under the new arrangements SWDC retains ownership of all its infrastructure assets and contracts Wellington Water to provide infrastructure management services. This includes providing planning, advice, design, project and operations management, maintenance, and monitoring relating to the assets and services of the water networks. SWDC sets all the policies and performance objectives that are expected to be met by Wellington Water.
Viv Napier says, “For customers, day-to-day, not a lot will change. Customers still call council for any matters relating to their water supply or drainage.
“South Wairarapa has its own distinct needs for water services, and I’m confident Wellington Water will take a customer-first approach in working with council and residents to understand and meet the needs of our customers.”