Porirua Mayor Mike Tana joined Water Committee representatives, council officers and about 30 Wellington Water staff to celebrate the establishment of Wellington Water’s new Porirua depot on Wednesday morning.
After a karakia spoken by Kara Puketapu-Dentice, Mayor Tana noted that in bringing together a broader range of service delivery functions, the depot can support an increased focus on improving water quality and the environment.
Mayor Tana told the gathering that mana whenua of the region, Ngati Toa, called this area Parirua – referring to the rua – two – harbours, and pari – the shimmering light of the waters, which are particularly noticeable as the tide turns. Improving the water quality in the harbour is a top priority for Porirua City Council.
David Bassett, chair of the Water Committee and deputy mayor of Lower Hutt, thanked the water teams gathered at the offices, which are in the final stages of completion. He related a story of prompt service he’d observed from the new alliance already, and said their work on the front line, undertaken at all hours, in all kinds of weather, was highly appreciated.
He commended the alliance between Wellington Water and Fulton Hogan that underpinned the depot network. The two other depots are in the eastern Wellington suburb of Rongotai, and in Pomare, Lower Hutt.
The structure of the alliance allows for a greater emphasis on customer focus across the wider region, putting Wellington Water closer to the customer, Mr Bassett said.
As well as water supply and drainage response crews, two regional service teams are based in Porirua; the new connections and reinstatement team, and the utilities team, responsible for pump station and reservoir maintenance.
The three depots are supported by an in-house dispatch centre based at Wellington Water’s offices in Petone. This is staffed from 7am to 7pm, five days a week, with out-of-hours calls handled by council contact centres.