Wellington Water marked the inauguration of its new regional service delivery model with a ceremony at its depot in Pomare, Lower Hutt, this morning.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy and Lower Hutt deputy mayor David Bassett both attended an early morning barbeque at the depot, on a cold, wet morning.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to say thank you to you people at the sharp end of the business, who are so often out in weather like this fixing pipes for people,” David Bassett said. Mr Bassett, speaking on behalf of the Wellington Water Committee, told the gathering the Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta was also particularly interested in the new approaches Wellington Water was taking.
Mayor Guppy was also pleased the depot model will bring the core work of fixing infrastructure closer to Upper Hutt. “We have water restrictions in place 365 days a year. They don’t make sense if people see water gushing down the gutter for three or four days. So I congratulate you on this alliance, and also want to thank you who are on the front line, doing the work of responding to leaks and other water issues.”
Chief Executive Colin Crampton spoke of the alliance between Fulton Hogan and Wellington Water that had enabled this new approach to service delivery. Previously, network repairs for Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Wellington were coordinated and delivered from a single point, outside of Wellington Water’s direct control. This had created some distance between service delivery and customers, and made it harder to be responsive and proactive.
From July 1, this changed to an in-house ‘customer hub’ with three service depots, in Rongotai, Kenepuru and Pomare. Each depot is able to attend water and drainage faults, and hosts other critical service teams such as major pipes, utilities maintenance and reinstatement. About 40 people will be based at the Pomare depot.
Jim McErlean and Mark Pohls, Pomare barbeque maestros
Mayor Guppy, Water Committee Chair David Bassett, Colin Crampton at the Pomare depot.