Key Proposal 1: Investing in our three waters network

How much should we spend on fixing the pipes?

Our water pipes are old and in poor condition. We’re proposing to spend more than ever before on fixing them. This is expensive and will increase rates and debt, so we need to decide how much we can afford.

There are three options:

  1. Operational funding of $615.1m and Capital funding of $896.7m over 10 years. This is the baseline level of funding for the main nine capital projects outlined in the consultation document and unavoidable operating cost increases.
  2. Operational Funding of $617.5m and Capital funding of $1.0b over 10 years. This is the same as Option A, with additional operational funding for a business case for water meters and capital expenditure for installation provisionally budgeted for from Year 4.
  3. Operational funding of $676.7m and Capital funding $1.2b over 10 years. This option has the same projects as Options A and B, with additional operational funding for the drinking water network and capital funding for the wastewater network. (Preferred option.)

Read Key Proposal 1: Investing in our three waters network.


How much should we spend on fixing the pipes?

Our water pipes are old and in poor condition. We’re proposing to spend more than ever before on fixing them. This is expensive and will increase rates and debt, so we need to decide how much we can afford.

There are three options:

  1. Operational funding of $615.1m and Capital funding of $896.7m over 10 years. This is the baseline level of funding for the main nine capital projects outlined in the consultation document and unavoidable operating cost increases.
  2. Operational Funding of $617.5m and Capital funding of $1.0b over 10 years. This is the same as Option A, with additional operational funding for a business case for water meters and capital expenditure for installation provisionally budgeted for from Year 4.
  3. Operational funding of $676.7m and Capital funding $1.2b over 10 years. This option has the same projects as Options A and B, with additional operational funding for the drinking water network and capital funding for the wastewater network. (Preferred option.)

Read Key Proposal 1: Investing in our three waters network.


CLOSED: The question tool is now closed to allow the team time to answer all remaining questions ahead of consultation finishing on 12 May. If you have any questions that are not covered by those below, please email ltp@wcc.govt.nz

Check the other questions below - your question may already have an answer.

Please be concise and respectful in asking questions - we will do our best to respond promptly (usually by two working days). Some answers may take a bit longer to get the details right. We monitor the site from 8:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday

Note: The question box is to enable us to provide any additional information to you to better inform your submission. We are unable to count any comment submitted in the questions box as a final submission.

  • It would be useful to understand the forecast for increases to rates overall, to contextualise the impact of this on rate payers. Is there a guarantee of how much less work/maintenance will be required once any of the options are complete? Thanks

    ElleH asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora ElleH, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    We want to get back to having a well-functioning three waters network, but this is going to take time and years of investment. This is not a quick fix. 

    It is important to note that the level of funding to Wellington Water is still below the required level to address all network issues, and below the recommended maximum deliverable level of funding presented by Wellington Water ($1.8b Capital and $700m Operational over 10 years). 

    Increasing to the maximum level of investment would cost more than the community can afford. Further work is required with central government and the other Councils in the region to review the model for three waters infrastructure management, so that a higher level of funding can occur in future. More information on the future of three waters management and funding is on page 53 of the consultation document.  

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • The Wellington City Council has not delivered on any of its promises in regards to the costs of major projects (eg town Hall, central Library), and continuously comes back to the rate payers trough for more. How do you expect the Rate Payers to believe you can deliver the necessary infrastructure for the costs you have proposed, and what comeback do we as ratepayers have if you are wrong again?

    Wayne Newlands asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora Wayne Newlands, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    Wellington City Council is required to publish an Annual Report each year, which details how it has performed against the Long-term Plan and subsequent Annual Plans. This includes spend in our operational and capital programmes and how we perform against our Key Performance Indicators. This report is independently audited. These can be viewed here: Annual Reports - Plans, policies and bylaws - Wellington City Council

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • Would it not be logical to wait for the new government to advise on the 3 waters replacement and how that will work for councils.

    Clyde asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora Clyde, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    The Government’s new Local Water Done Well policy indicates that by mid-2025 councils will be required to produce water service delivery plans that meet regulatory and investment requirements.

    On 14 March 2024, the Council voted to work with the other Councils in the region on a plan to reform the region’s water services into a new affordable and sustainable water delivery model. This new model will include looking at funding and delivery of the service.

    However, the Long-term Plan is required to be adopted by 30 June 2024 so we must put in place the best plan for the future of Wellington now with the best information to hand.

    If you are ready to make a submission click hereOr download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • All three approaches seem wide of the mark. We know what is required and has been stated clearly in the media: regionally $1b NZD per year for 30 years. The ONLY way that works is if you secure funding and loans from central government spread out and serviced by us now and generations beyond. There is no other way, or you are perpetually picking at the edges, and wasting money year after year as we have been doing for quite some time. Shortly we may need $50b if WCC don’t start at Aro St and work to REPLACE the whole network. Stop patching as this is a make work scheme for private contractors. We need a permanent solution with serious money and investment. What is proposed won’t cover what is actually required. A stitch in time save nine. WCC has failed to acknowledge this fact. You are so far off with these proposals that administration is the likely result for this city once the inevitable happens. I can see this train wreck ending in a health scare with poos ending up in our water supply. We all will have the right to a class action lawsuit if we end up sick and permanently damaged in some way. We know ACC will not cover this as it will not be an accident. We know this from the Hastings water poisoning in 2016 disaster. People learnt they could not get ACC but paved the way to sue. All councils should sit up straight and take note based on that alone. Q1. Why is WCC not approaching central government for an inter-generational loan? That is missing from the proposal. That IS the only way out of this absolute debacle of a mess and it has to start now. It is an international embarressment. Q2. If we have $30b regionally that NEEDS to be spent, then why are WCC and other councils not starting to buy the machinery and start their own in-house works programme? Resources can be shared to manage costs and quality. Start scalping Fulton Hogan staff now. We need to keep profit out of it, and the ability to prioritise and move resources with flexibility without being stung from breaking contracts. From what I can see over great lengths of time is PWC’s 1990’s bull s..t advice to privatise all of council services coming back to bite us. Maybe we should be going cap in had to PWC. It has never cost us so much as ratepayers and the quality is poor for roading, pipe repairs loss of our electricity company (yes WCC used to own that too), car parking buildings also. That says it was always about transferring rate payer wealth into private profits. At least when it was in-house we had a high standard of quality and the work was done and the QA managed. We can’t touch these monopoly contractors now and they do what they like without accountability. Please answer these simple questions above truthfully. We need straight answers please the proposals appear to be not bold enough and done using expensive private labour without a long term plan for that either.

    Travis Gray asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora Travis Gray, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    The Government’s new Local Water Done Well policy indicates that by mid-2025 councils will be required to produce water service delivery plans that meet regulatory and investment requirements.

    On 14 March 2024, the Council voted to work with the other Councils in the region on a plan to reform the region’s water services into a new affordable and sustainable water delivery model. This new model will include looking at funding and delivery of the service.

    If you are ready to make a submission click hereOr download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • The city receives around 1250 millimetres of rain per year. Rainfall is spread relatively evenly throughout the year with no distinct wet or dry season. On average, it rains on one day of every three. It is not particularly warm so evaporation is limited. All that rain falls on not too many people, which makes Wellington’s water shortage even more astonishing. We also know that the water reservoirs hold enough water for two cities. We clearly don’t have a water shortage problem but a water retention problem. Q. Why are we putting water meters in private residences at great cost when we know that that is not where the problems lies? We should not be paying extra to have these installed and our water throttled. We know Wellington is blessed with too much water regionally so why? Water meters are a Segway to privatisation of our water. This crisis is being used to push for water meters and it is not related to the real issues causing it. Something smells not right with this proposal. There is nothing logical or scientific to base the decision to install water meters. Note also that Wellington Water’s website has an interactive map that shows how much water is being used in each reservoir and local tanks (almost blaming residents for the enormous draining) but when I asked how full the reservoirs are and why this critical information was not displayed, Wellington Water ignored my question. This feels like one way traffic and propaganda. In a low water crisis would we not wat to let the public know the levels of water in storage. The public would be surprised I think if they actually knew. Not long after we saw images in the media of two full lakes in Upper Hutt when John can bell was interviewing live next to them. We were and are now in level 2. Aren’t they supposed to be close to empty?. So what is going on? Please explain the full lakes and why we actually need water meters.

    Travis Gray asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora Travis Gray, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    Subject to the outcome of the LTP consultation, it is intended that a regional business case on the options for water meters be prepared within the 2024/25 financial year by Wellington Water Ltd. Through this process, they will investigate any methods of implementation for water meters it will likely cover the points you have made. This planning will inform any next steps, including if they will be installed and further consultation with the community.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • Why is there an increase in expenditure on Temporary fixing of problems in pipelines that are due for renewal, rather than an increase on pipe renewal activites?

    DJE asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora DJE, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    Our programme with Wellington Water is a mix of proactive renewals and reactive maintenance in response to leaks. For example, Wellington Water has been working on the Taranaki St pump station and associated renewals which is Stage 1 of a major programme of work called the CBD Wastewater Renewals and Upgrades designed to ensure future resilience, support population growth, and protect the environment.  Alongside this all of the options for consultation include levels of funding for funding and fixing leaks in the network.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • After a second repair to the service pipe to our manifold within 1 year, and the need to repair the drive crossing both times, I asked the water installer if a recurring failure was common. He replied it was as the fittings they use were failing within a short time. I asked if they were using that same fitting for the current repair. He answered YES. This is unbelievable! Why do council continue to use fittings that are known to fail?

    JonB asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora JonB, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    The costs to fix a leak depend upon several factors (material repair type, proximity of other services (telecommunication, gas, power), complexity of the fix, traffic management etc). Wellington Water is actively pursuing improving operational efficiencies regarding grouping leak repair work and improved performance reporting.

    Wellington Water are in the process of exploring a pilot with the Master Plumbers Association.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • how will units and apartments be metered? will units that aren't multilevel buildings be able to have their own meters? or will we still have to share a meter as a complex and essentially pay for our neighbors leaking taps?

    russ asked about 2 months ago

    Kia ora russ, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    Subject to the outcome of the LTP consultation, it is intended that a regional business case on water meters be prepared within the 2024/25 financial year by Wellington Water Ltd. Through this process, they will investigate any methods of implementation for water meters. This planning will inform any next steps and further consultation will occur if the Council decides to go ahead with the project.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • What consideration has been given to the charging scheme once water meters are installed? I think Kapiti and Auckland use a fixed daily charge + volumetric. How will you ensure that low-income households are not adversely affected?

    TimN asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora TimN, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    Subject to the outcome of the LTP consultation, it is intended that a regional business case be prepared within the 2024/25 financial year by Wellington Water Ltd. Through this process, they will investigate any methods of implementation for water meters, including options for charging or not charging. This planning will inform any next steps and further consultation will occur if the Council decides to go ahead with the project.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

  • what is the best Option for the future for wellington

    cheryllyster asked about 1 month ago

    Kia ora cheryllyster, 

    Thank you for your question and your interest in the Long-term Plan. 

    All the options in our consultation are all viable options for the future of Wellington and represent a significant increase in the investment in our water network. The Council has selected Option C as the preferred option as it includes increased operational funding for repairing the leaks in our drinking water network and increased capital funding for critical wastewater projects.

    If you are ready to make a submission click here. Or download a hardcopy submission form here.

    Ngā mihi  

    The Long-term Plan Engagement Team

Page last updated: 08 May 2024, 08:42 AM