Watercare

Watercare continues the blame game

Watercare appears to be toeing the line of its paymaster Auckland Council who want to continue the blame game regarding housing supply.

Not willing to concede that the Council have stuffed Auckland they are trying desperately to blame everyone – from landowners to property developers – instead of accepting responsibility. Talk about being sensitive.

The property industry and I have been saying for a while that the issue is Council refuse to build the infrastructure and are using sewers, potable water and roads to stymie the expansion of Auckland. Some weeks back I pointed out that there is now only capacity for 45,000 dwellings to connect to the infrastructure.

So what does Auckland Council do? They shove Watercare out to pitch a story about expenditure that’s over a long time frame and to tell a fat pork pie.

Most of the article is talking up a storm about infrastructure works that replace and improve the stuffed existing infrastructure servicing areas of Auckland. It’s not for new areas. It’s all the deferred maintenance and asset management playing catch-up with a bit more capacity to allow for more apartments in certain areas.

Like new big sewer mains that connect central Auckland suburbs back to Mangere and a Hunua water connection that terminates at the water tank in Ponsonby. They are things in places where people already live, not where the city needs to be growing into, like the edges of the city.

Watercare Services is catering for 195,000 new Auckland dwellings in the next decade, and is working to expand the fresh and waste water networks to cope with this growth.

But Raveen Jaduram, Watercare chief executive, admits the organisation does not really expect that many dwellings to be built.

“The actual number will be significantly less but we’re catering for that bigger number. We have to be ahead of the growth so we built infrastructure well before it’s required,” he said.   Read more »

Sell Watercare to grow Auckland

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With Nick Smith stating yesterday that Auckland Council needs to pull finger and release land through the PAUP (followed by hinting at the use of commissioners if it doesn’t) I am betting that the Council will pull their age old stunt of pleading poor by whinging about infrastructure.

As it is – Len Brown has taken the Council to a new dizzying heights where Council debt is concerned.

The Council is on the ropes with threats from credit agencies to downgrade it too. They genuinely don’t have the money.

Sure Council can sell assets – but those assets are limited. Airport shares are one. Another would be an over rented tower once its reclad.

It could also flog off property it owns but doesn’t need – although if Panuku run that show it will undoubtedly become a mess. It could sell the port land – but that does require a replacement port elsewhere with a very large infrastructure spend.   Read more »

Watercare visits Penny Bright and investigates her meter

My sources have told me that this morning Watercare turned up at Penny Bright’s house and started investigating her unusual water reticulation methods.

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As I posted on the weekend it appears that Penny Bright has breached Watercare’s bylawsRead more »

Can Penny Bright explain this?

Penny Bright refuses to pay her rates and has been slammed with $13,000 in court costs.

She maintains she is righteous in her attempts to shirk rates.

But it would appear that not only is she shirking her rates, she may also be subverting the water supply to her property.

Photos obtained by Whaleoil suggest she is bypassing the water meter to her property via a jury-rigged hose system.

image2 Read more »

Auckland Council admit there is a problem with water infrastructure as well

Watercare have taken offence at my assertions that Auckland infrastructure is stuffed and has 10% capacity remaining in it.

That’s not necessarily their fault – they inherited a legacy of poor management from the seven former Councils and they have a limited capacity to raise funds for more expenditure.

Now they say that the limited capacity isn’t really an issue because they have lots of expenditure planned.

Except that the planned infrastructure is spread over decades and, importantly, it doesn’t fix the issue today. It doesn’t even fix it in the next 5 or 10 years.

Auckland Council even admit that the current infrastructure is stuffed.

Only last week a presentation made by Council’s own Manager for Growth and Infrastructure Strategy, Dawne Mackay, states clearly that they have issues:   Read more »

Watercare are feeling the heat

Watercare are feeling the heat.

The type of heat that – at first – is warm. But before you know it, it has quickly turned into a full-blown pants-on-fire experience.

Last week I pointed out that Watercare have only 10% capacity today in their network for approximately 45,000 connections. That’s not only a tiny amount, it’s also a bit of a looming problem.

Simple maths says that if Auckland is growing at 8,000 dwellings a year (plus commercial space) the network capacity is in the kaka.

Turns out Watercare didn’t really like us pointing that out.

Watercare response to Whale Oil article ‘How will Watercare support intensification when their network is stretched already?’

Watercare strongly refutes suggestions by blog Whale Oil that their networks cannot service a growing Auckland.

The statement published on Whale Oil claiming that Watercare has 10 percent capacity remaining in its existing water supply and wastewater network does not reflect the extent of Watercare’s planned investments that will accommodate Auckland growth.

There are currently about 430,000 homes and businesses connected to the Watercare network, which has capacity for approximately 45,000 new homes and businesses to connect today.

Every year Watercare invests hundreds of millions in growth-related projects. This year, the organisation is spending $150 million on projects to cater for a growing population. Next year, Watercare plans to invest $200 million.   Read more »

How will Watercare support intestification when their network is stretched already?

Watercare have now only got just over 10% capacity remaining in their existing network.

With Watercare stating that they have approx 435,000 connections and an estimated 45,000 connection capacity remaining they’ve basically signalled that their networks cannot service the city.

The booming population is affecting housing, traffic as well as something a little less noticeable – water.

Two future water pipelines are likely to be installed to cope with the massive population growth in west and north Auckland.

Watercare is lodging applications to secure the routes for the pipelines that will run across the Upper Harbour area.    Read more »

Why has Auckland Council not asked the ratepayers for permission to dick around with fluoride in the water supply?

Watercare has lowered the amount of fluoride in our water, but done it secretly…but get this…the nutters who want no fluoride are complaining about it!

Auckland’s water provider has quietly reduced its target for fluoride levels in the region’s drinking water.

But it denies the move was clandestine.

Watercare has reduced its target fluoride levels from 0.85 parts per million to 0.7ppm.

The Ministry of Health recommends fluoride content for drinking water in the range of 0.7-1.0ppm and must not exceed 1.5ppm — the acceptable maximum level.

A Watercare spokeswoman said the 0.15ppm drop was part of a continuing effort by the organisation to follow best practice standards.

She said this, “combined with recent international reports, resulted in an operational adjustment of the fluoride target”.    Read more »

Here they come Len. This is what deliberate sabotage earns you

Len Brown needs more money.

He’s got the rate payers to a point where they are no longer willing to put up with his ridiculous rates rises.  So now he has to fiddle around the edges by introducing parking charges in all suburbs of Auckland.  And… rejigging the water charges, starting with new connections.

The [Auckland] council-owned Watercare Services this week announced it would charge an additional $2300 for each new home or apartment connecting to its network.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the move was not helpful at a time when there was a focus on trying to make housing more affordable.

Watercare’s move takes to $12,075 the fee it will charge for new connections. It is lower than the fee charged by some councils, but the company said it still covered only 30 percent of the cost of new infrastructure.

Dr Smith said work underway by his ministry and Treasury is looking at the charging practices of network companies which service new housing areas, including water and electricity and phone networks.

He said at present, the legislation governing Watercare Services meant it was outside the reach of local government law changes, bringing in new checks on how much can be charged for new developments. Read more »

What is going on here? Is Auckland part of north Korea now?

via theruss.org

via theruss.org

Wayne Thompson reports on an absurd story in Auckland

New Zealand’s first environmentally sustainable public “third pipe” scheme, planned to serve thousands of homes with recycled storm water, has been plugged.

Rain falling on Stonefields – a redevelopment of a former East Auckland quarry – was to be fed to a storm water retention pond and treated to feed a plumbing network to toilets and garden taps.

Sounds like a smart use of free water to me.  No need to use potable water to flush toilets or water the lawn.  So what’s the problem here?   Read more »