Current Projects are the projects Water New Zealand is currently leading.
Supported Projects are the projects Water New Zealand is contributing to but are lead by another organsiation.
Project Proposals provides information related to submissions for new projects stakeholders feel Water New Zealand should be involved in or lead.


Workforce capability strategy project

The three waters sector has an aging workforce, limited succession planning and is struggling to recruit and retain sufficient experienced and skilled staff. This is affecting service provision in some places. In general, the sector is not as attractive or competitive as other sectors that compete for similar skill sets. New technologies, tougher standards and higher community expectations mean that sector good practice will likely look very different in the future. Some organisations are tackling these issues and there is an opportunity to share these learnings through greater industry collaboration.

The Havelock North Inquiry has led to greater expectations in the industry for more formal recognition of workforce capability such as qualifications and proof of experience. However, the sector has not provided the leadership required to ensure its own education and training needs are catered for. Its collective ‘body of knowledge’ is not being utilised well and learning within the water sector is uncoordinated.

A project to develop a strategy and plan of action for resolving these challenges has commenced, but lacks funding.

The contact for this project is


There is widespread support within the 3 waters sector for developing national rainfall and runoff guidelines. For over seven years, groups such as the Engineering NZ/Water NZ Rivers Group and the Water NZ Modelling and Stormwater Special Interest Groups have consistently identified this as a priority sector need.

National guidelines would support improved decision-making and cost efficiencies on matters such as natural hazard risk assessment (especially for floods) and right-sizing infrastructure investment in the face of climate change; including flood protection schemes, stormwater systems, wastewater systems and transport infrastructure. The work would also benefit wider freshwater management such as decisions about how to best improve water quality or address water quantity pressures.

A Steering Group has now been established to drive the work forward. There is no funding for the work yet. The current approach is to break the work into manageable chunks and prioritise effort on some priority sub-projects. A screening survey has been completed and four projects are now underway.

It is important to note that this project is not a Water New Zealand led project. The Steering Group is providing overall leadership as there are multiple interests in this initiative. Water New Zealand is providing project management support.

For more information, please go to the project page here or contact

Non-flushable products REDUCTION

Tackling wipes blockages

Blockages and extra maintenance costs caused by the flushing of non flushable products has become an increasingly expensive problem for wastewater entities.

International evidence suggests that some wastewaster operators are spending up to a third of their management resources responding to blockages caused by non-flushable products. Here in New Zealand the problem is just as bad. For instance, we know of two cities with populations of around 145,000 that estimate they spend around $500,000 every year just responding to blockages and other problems caused by these products.

That is why Water New Zealand has decided to work with our Australian counterparts on a joint Australian/New Zealand flushability standard as well as join with our members here to raise public awareness of this problem.


Guidelines for beneficially reusing organic materials on land are under development. The guidelines will supersede 2003 Guidelines for the Safe Application of Biosolids to Land and include additional organic material such as animal manures, and other agricultural waste materials, which also contain pathogens and contaminants. Water New Zealand, WasteMINZ, the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research (CIBR) and the New Zealand Land Treatment Collective (NZLTC) together with the ministries of Environment, Health and Primary Industries are collaborating on their delivery.

A 1st draft was publicised for public comment and Nick Walmsley ran five regional meetings during February 2017 to discuss and explain the content, where over 100 people attended. Meeting notes are available here. Twenty-three submissions from 36 individuals and organisations were subsequently received. The project Steering Group held a meeting to consider these submissions on 27 April 2017 and formulated a programme to update the draft . The Steering Group meeting notes and full copies of the submissions can be viewed here.

The updated 2nd draft documents were subsequently publicised for comment and submissions received. 8 submissions were received and the project Steering Group met on 19th April 2018 to consider their content and formulate a programme of necessary further work. The Steering Group meeting notes and full copies of the submissions can be viewed here.

The second draft submissions were reviewed by the Steering Group on 19 May. A key issue is the Eco-SGV allowable soil contaminant levels, which we understood were supported by the RCs. It is now seen that these limits, while derived by RC funded research, have yet to be endorsed and this will not occur until at least their October meeting. Therefore the Guidelines cannot be finalised until then, with further time required to gain formal support from MPI, MoH and MfE through their representatives on the Steering Group.

Given the importance of RC support it has been agreed to provide additional support data and a workshop to explain how the new limits and nitrogen loadings will be applied. There is also request for a technical writer to improve the presentation of the final published Guideline.

These issues will require some additional funding and additional time. Given the uncertain politics of this programme, we have assumed that the Guideline may not be published until June 2019.


Water New Zealand is happy to provide the long awaited Good Practise Guide for Waste Stabilisation Ponds: Design and Operation, We believe this guideline will be of great value to the industry and likely to be a long serving legacy document referred back to by members for many years to come. This is a document the authors can be proud of and Water New Zealand would like to acknowledge the many hours of dedicated effort the authors put in to creating this document.

This document is an update of the Ministry of Works Guidelines for Oxidation Ponds 1974. It follows the NZ Water and Wastes Association (NZWWA) 2007 draft Waste Stabilisation Pond Guidelines which were published as a 2nd draft but never finalised and it draws on recent research and practices. It is primarily written for those involved in wastewater treatment pond management and operations: local authorities, regional councils, and wastewater systems operations personnel. As well as management and operations, these guidelines include basic aspects of pond design, planning, cultural acceptance, and regulations. It is assumed that the reader has an understanding of basic wastewater terminology.

Download the documents at


In February 2017 the AC good practice manual was published.

This Good Practice Manual has been developed to assist water infrastructure Asset Managers with understanding the condition and likely remaining life of their Asbestos Cement (AC) pressure pipelines.

This Good Practice Manual has been developed to assist water infrastructure Asset Managers with understanding the condition and likely remaining life of their Asbestos Cement (AC) pressure pipelines.

Volume 1 outlines the processes and procedures to guide asset managers with a consistent and repeatable approach to AC pressure pipe condition assessment.

Volume 2 of the document provides technical and supporting data.

Working database and Lifetime Prediction Model allows the user to enter new condition assessment results and generate remaining lifetime predictions.

Working database and Lifetime Prediction Model

New Zealand Pipe Inspection Manual

The next revision of the NZPIM is under way. The scope of the project and enhancements from the current version can be found here.

The project has been awarded to ProjectMax and Citycare and is scheduled to have a draft document completed before the end of the 2018 calendar year.

As at July 2018 the draft document is 80% complete.

Contact for more information.


The intent of this project was to provide good practice guidance on the development of Chlorine Emergency Response Plans for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants.

Additional modelling has been carried out to calculate the theoretical release rates from chlorine drums and bottles while they are in use.

This project has been parked while a number of issues have been worked through; this includes the Chlorine Institute recent suspension of Pamphlet 74, Guidance On Estimating the Area Affected By A Chlorine Release.


In 2016 revisions where incorporated into good practice guidelines for the supply of chlorine, Aluminium Sulphate, Hydrated Lime, and Polyelectrolyte. These can be found in Water New Zealand's Library. Ministry of Health is undertaking further work to determine chlorate levels in Drinking Water Supplies. This work will be completed and incorporated into chlorine guidance document in 2018. The chlorine guideline has been provided as provisional advice until this amendment.

The guidelines provide purchasers, manufacturers, and suppliers with the minimum physical, chemical and testing requirements for drinking water chemicals to meet safe limits. To ensure limits are met all operators should request a certificate of compliance when purchasing chemicals for use in drinking water, in accordance with processes outlined in the guide. Water New Zealand has an interest in the effective implementation of these guidelines. To assist us monitor this, we would appreciate copies of your certificate of compliance and associated lab results. Please send these


Opportunities for greater consistency in discharge consent compliance practices were explored at two workshops held in 2013 (click here for presentations and notes from the workshops). The project is being reinvigorated in 2018 after a hiatus due to resourcing challenges. Water New Zealand is developing an issues and options paper that will build on the issues raised at the earlier workshops and consider what has changed since 2013. A set of discussion questions will be identified and the intent is to workshop these with interested parties.

If you would like to get involved in the project please contact:

Good Practice Guide for Developing Pressure Sewer Systems

This project will provide industry guidelines to assist local authorities’ decision making on pressure sewer systems. As there is currently no guidance or standard specification for pressure sewer systems in New Zealand the purpose of the guide is to address this gap in order to;

  • reduce up front cost in the development of policies and standards
  • reduce the inconsistency in equipment specifications to reduce cost and complexity for suppliers
  • facilitate the sharing of existing knowledge to improve the effectiveness of pressure sewer systems
  • Provide a tool to assist in the selection of pressure, vacuum and gravity sewer reticulation.

Due to illness this project has been delayed, the revised programme now is:

Contact Noel Roberts for additional information.


Auckland Council are updating TP58, a draft Guideline Document On-site Wastewater Management in the Auckland Region (GD06) is now published on the Auckland Design Manual website as a draft for public consultation , with the consultation period expected to end finishing in October.

Although Auckland Council have given Water New Zealand approval to use GD06 to convert to a national Water New Zealand guidance document, the current thinking is that effort is currently better put towards developing soil assessment guidance.

The need for a national guidance document will be reassessed after GD06 has been finalised..



The objective of the national metadata standards are to enable the sharing of evidence based decision making practises for national infrastructure assets across New Zealand, this will aid in providing a consistent approach to the way data on 3 waters is captured, described and stored.

The ownership of the 3 water Metadata standards has transferred from LINZ to Water New Zealand.

A governance group is being created and an terms of reference are currently being worked on.

There is a related projected managed by the Quake Centre called National Pipe Database that is a practical application of the Metadata standards by willing entities that are prepared to implement the standards. A gap analysis is being carried out to identify the differences in attributes collected by the willing entities and how they compare to the Metadata standards; the following workshops discussing these differences will lead to what is considered the core set of attributes required.

There will be additional workshops on implementation of the volume 2 Metadata attributes to follow.

Currently there are 5 willing entities supporting 53% of New Zealanders that are prepared to implement the Metadata standards. If your entity would like to join the willing, please contact


Water New Zealand the Quake Centre and IPWEA are pleased to announce the release of Evidence Based Investment Decision Making for 3 Water Pipe Network Programme (Pipe Renewals Guidelines Programme). The three organisations have agreed to work co-operatively to develop guidance documents and tools to assist New Zealand’s water organisations to make nationally consistent, evidenced-based decisions relating to the management and renewal of their 3 Water Pipe Networks. The programme covers inspection, maintenance and renewal strategies for pipework in potable water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

View the documents here.

Deep South National Science Challenge

The Deep South Science Challenge, is a research collaboration between a number of Crown Research Institutes, universities and research providers. The challenges mission is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate. Water New Zealand’s technical team is providing input into various Representative User Group to inform and disseminate relevant research on the impacts and implications of climate change on urban water systems.


Water New Zealand’s technical team are part of the Advisory Group for the “Distributed Infrastructure” work stream of the Resilience Challenge. This is one of the government funded National Science Challenges that aims to develop and apply new scientific solutions to transform our preparedness, response, recovery and “bounce-back” from our wide diversity of natural hazards. This is a collaborative project across a wide range of research institutions, and a key part of this process is the development of outcomes shaped by stakeholder or ‘co-creation’.

The aim of the Distributed Infrastructure work stream is to develop an improved understanding of the resilience of spatially-distributed infrastructure networks to extreme natural hazards, with a focus on incorporating network functionality modelling into this work. More information on the wider challenge can be found at .

Project Proposals

Water New Zealand collaborates with a range of stakeholders to deliver projects that pool the collective knowledge of our membership. Projects are funded through; Water New Zealand finances, government funding, project participant fees, or grants.

Most projects are driven by Work Plans of our Special Interest Groups and Water Service Managers Group. Members may also propose projects, where support of the broader membership and outputs benefiting the New Zealand Water industry can be demonstrated.

To submit a project proposal complete the Business Case Proposal Template and email to: