Association News 26 October

New Staff

CEO John Pfahlert welcomed Jim Graham to the Water New Zealand team last week. Jim has joined the Water New Zealand staff as Principal Advisor Water Quality. Jim is well known throughout the water industry and has an extensive background in drinking-water risk management, standards and water quality having worked for two DHBs, the Ministry of Health and for the last nine years as a Principal Environmental Scientist with Opus. Jim's role is to provide advisory services to water suppliers, particularly in light of the expected changes that will result from the Havelock North Inquiry. Water New Zealand members are encouraged to contact Jim if they have questions or queries about any matters to do with drinking-water supplies.

Media Release - Robust and fair water policy needed in wake of water tax dumping

Water New Zealand Chief Executive John Pfahlert says he’s not surprised that the government has dropped its controversial water tax on irrigators but has left a royalty on water bottlers.

View the media release here.

Membership survey results provide strong direction

Thank you to all our members who completed our membership survey. We were pleased with the response rate and as a result of your comments we intend to run the survey annually to ensure we remain on track in our commitments to meet members’ needs.

Among recommendations, you indicated that you’d like us to be more proactive over policy issues and advocacy – something we have already been putting a big focus on – and will continue to do so.

You want us to provide more access to training opportunities. As a result of that we will continue to work on the implementation of the Water Industry Operators Certification Scheme, work with training providers to deliver qualifications and deliver technical training into district councils.

The survey revealed that members are around the country are keen to have more involvement in Water New Zealand. In response to that we’ll be organising more regional meetings and other opportunities for engagement.

We’ll be keeping you more informed about our work and engagement with government and other organisations and we’ll continue to speak out on issues that affect our sector. Keep an eye on Pipeline, our fortnightly newsletter, for updates.

And of course, we’re very happy to have feedback from members throughout the year. If you’d like to communicate with us on any issue please email

Industry Training

At their meeting in October the Board of Water New Zealand decided that the Association should take a stronger leadership position to ensure that the delivery of water training is fit for purpose. This decision is also supported by the results of the recent membership survey where members were clearly seeking the Association to play a greater part in the training space. Discussions are already in train to now decide what specifically the Association can do to improve performance in this area. Contact if you want to know more.

Standards Development

In conjunction with the Engineering Leadership Forum the Association is planning to write to incoming Ministers expressing concern at the lack of government investment in Standards development. Our view is informed by continuing issues over the lack recognition of the public good value of Standards. Contact if you want to know more.

Infrastructure NZ Conference

CEO John Pfahlert will be attending the Infrastructure NZ annual conference in Wellington this week. He is also having a meeting with an OFWAT representative who is in NZ for the conference to talk about price control and effective regulation.

Office of the Auditor General – Management of Stormwater networks to reduce the effect of Flooding

Water New Zealand staff met with the office of the Auditor General staff to advise them on the breadth of issues facing stormwater.

As part of the performance audit, they are proposing to look at five Local Authorities’ to investigate:

  • understanding of their current and future flooding risks;
  • process for determining the levels of service for their stormwater networks; and
  • management of their stormwater network to deliver current and future levels of service.

It is expected that a the final report will take 9 - 12 months to produce and the OAG is happy for Water New Zealand to publish the report on our website.

Water New Zealand are meeting with OAG again this week to discuss the audit on the “security of drinking water sources”

Other audits and further explanation can be found at

National Performance Review Reporting Commences

Every year Water New Zealand facilitates the National Performance Review, an annual benchmark of public drinking water, wastewater and stormwater system performance.

Registrations for this year’s National Performance Review have now closed, with 48 organisations, suppling services to over 4 million New Zealanders contributing information. The review has been on running since 2007 and previous years data can be found at:

2018 Conferences - Save the date

Modelling Symposium, 14-15 March 2018, Christchurch

Stormwater Conference, 23-25 May 2018, Queenstown