Wellington Backs Expansion of Water Company

7 May 2012

Wellington City Council has voted to support the expansion of council-owned water infrastructure company Capacity to include the shareholding membership of Porirua and Upper Hutt cities.

The Council has voted in favour of a proposal to enable Porirua and Upper Hutt to join Capacity, which is presently owned by Hutt and Wellington cities.

Both Hutt and Upper Hutt city councils have recently voted in favour of the proposal. It is still to be considered by Porirua City.

Capacity presently manages the water supply, stormwater and wastewater networks for Wellington, Hutt City and Upper Hutt.

Wellington's Deputy Mayor, Ian McKinnon, moved the proposal at the Council meeting on 26 April in his position as the Council's Governance Portfolio Leader. He says the expansion of Capacity would benefit the region. "Our water, stormwater and wastewater flows through networks that cross our local political boundaries.

"Having consistency in the management of that network through all local councils being involved in Capacity would be a sound position for the region."

The City Council's 'Three Waters' and Waste Portfolio Leader, Cr Ngaire Best, says Capacity has already improved services and infrastructure planning in Wellington and the Hutt Valley since its establishment in 2003.

"Capacity has obviously encouraged savings through economy of scale - but it has also improved service through sharing network and industry knowledge and expertise, better long-term planning and improved emergency planning.

"It is also successfully running a comprehensive leak-detection and repair strategy which is helping to cut water use and wastage significantly in Wellington and the Hutt Valley."

Cr Best says Wellington and Hutt city councils continue to own and control water services and assets and set policies, pricing and service levels. Capacity itself is run by a board of directors, comprising city councillors and independent directors. The Board answers to both Councils.

Wellington and Hutt city councils jointly established Capacity after an amalgamation of the councils' water and drainage units in 2003. Upper Hutt became a client of Capacity's water supply, wastewater and stormwater network management services in 2008.

For further details please contact:

Cr Ian McKinnon, tel (04) 801 3113 or 021 227 8511

Cr Ngaire Best, tel (04) 232 9000 or 027 449 6925

Richard MacLean, City Council Communications, tel (04) 801 3578 or 021 227 8180.