Water Meter Facts

The Water Meter Fact Sheet

By Betty van Gaalen


1998. The KCDC Long Term Financial Strategy included introduction of water metering residential properties in 2008/09

2003. In Choosing Futures the Council’s Sustainable Water Use Strategy had a section on water charging p38. The aim was to develop and consult on the water charging structure with a decision on a structure of charges to be ready for the 2006 review of the Community Plan.

In Key Points to note is the statement ‘water metering will be introduced in 2008/09-2009/10.Kapiti Grey Power objected to this being done without wide community consultation.


2006. Choosing Futures. LTCCP Levels of Service: In Key Points to Note: Water Charging: ‘The key issue that remains to be resolved is the structure of water charging. The Council is now consulting on the options for a charging structure under a consumption based charging regime’.

Provision for meters was: $8.5 million over 2 years.

A separate detailed consultation paper is available, according to text.

Betty van Gaalen’s notes

My notes say: This is not the Key Issue! The Installation of metres is not to be done without full community consultation. This has been promised to the community several times.

Section 5: In Funding and Rating Options there is: Consumption Based Water Charges: ‘The Council continues to plan for introduction of consumption based water charging in 2008/9. It has developed three possible options to structure these charges:

  • A simple ‘volumetric charge’ – an amount per unit of water consumed.
  • A mixed system of a fixed charge component and volumetric component.
  • A stepped charge that distinguishes between essential water needs (250 lppd), non essential (150 lppd) and excessive use (over 400 lppd).
  • Modelling of all the options shows that smaller households (1-5 people) are likely to pay less for water than they do now providing that they use reasonable levels of water’.
  • Provision for meters was: $8.5 million over 2 years.
  • The CEO at this time was Mr. Mark Dacombe…not Mr. Pat Dougherty.

The Council that was elected in 2007 was against the installation of water meters.

2009 Choosing Futures LTCCP. Water Management has all references to water meters removed. There are statements such as:

  • KCDC has adopted the Sustainable Water Use Strategy 2003 and is concerned with reducing demand for water.
  • The Council strongly supports water conservation and eradication of excessive use.
  • Council has endorsed a peak target of 400 litres per person per day.
  • Although Council has provided money for water storage in this LTCCP the scale of the requirement is dependent on the community achieving the water use peak target. This was not achieved.
  • A review of all options was tabled with Council in December 2009
  • An external technical advisory group, comprising local residents, all experts in their field, was set up to ensure a thorough assessment of options.
  • On19th August 2010 Council selected the preferred option, River Recharge, which was arrived at after significant community consultation. (Water meters were not part of brief).
  • The staging of the Water Supply Project means that some extra water capacity can be addressed in Stage1(2010-14)
  • Significant new capacity will not need to be provided until 2035/36 as stage 2 providing that the demand can be reduced significantly by 2015/16.
  • This is the year that has been identified ‘that the community would be likely to be in major breach of its resource consent for taking water from the Waikanae River’. See below.

2010. In November the current Council was elected.

2011/12 Annual Plan:  Water issues were discussed at Briefings regarding the Annual Plan. At a work shop held on March 8th a presentation on water management including water meters was discussed. Cr. Lester claims to have encouraged Council to look again at Water Meters.

Meters in Annual Plan

As a result water meters featured in the Annual Plan. On page 88 we have the comments: ‘In 2015/16 it was identified that the community would be likely to be in major breach of its resource consent from the Waikanae River. The Council on review of its Water Conservation Plan initiatives has concluded that water meters will give greater certainty than the currently proposed financial incentive programme,(installation of water tanks) and that the necessary reduction in water demand will be achieved by this date.’

Water Meters section: ‘It is proposed that from 1st July 2014 that all water costs are fully funded from water meter charges. This is part of Council’s overall strategy to reduce consumption to 400 litres per person per day peak demand.

It should be noted that this initiative sits alongside the continued implementation of the water supply project for Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati.’

This is followed by a lot of information including:

  • From 1st July 2014 all water costs will be fully funded from water meter charges.
  • There will be changes to Standing Orders to entrench the principle of public ownership and public water management
  • A Community Charging Regime Advisory Group will design and recommend to Council a charging regime that takes full account of social impact and equity issues.
  • The charge for installing meters is $8.2 million.


On 18th August 2011 the Water Supply report for Water meters carried $8.2 million figure ‘to be spent in future years’.

The Council’s Capital Works Progamme of $36.5 million did not contain any mention of buying or installing meters.

These facts, selected from the Council documents demonstrate that water meters have been in the KCDC Plans since at least 1998 without any inputfrom Mr. Dougherty, who became CEO of KCDC in 2008.\

It is hoped these facts may counter-act the incorrect information that is circulating in the community.


Well done, Betty: we can always rely on you to put the facts straight and cut through the fog of (mis)information. The Tui Billboard raises a good point: if the installation of water meters was going to cost $8.6 million in 2006, does anyone really believe the cost has DROPPED to $8.2 million if they are installed “in future years”. Yeah right, indeed!

As one of those councillors who was elected in 2007 for taking a firm NO WATER METERS stance, supported by an overwhelming majority of voters, I am deeply disappointed to see this unpopular matter back on the Council’s LTCCP and agenda.


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