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Water meter charges coming

Masterton residents will be charged for their water using meters from July 1 next year.

The move was signalled in Masterton District Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) as part of a wider strategy to manage its three waters assets.

According to a council report about key content for the LTP Consultation Document, the council will be developing a water meter charging policy in the first year of the 2024-34 LTP and it will be implemented in mid-2025.

The report said that after three years of work, the installation of water meters is nearly completed and charging for water use is part of the council’s demand management strategy.

Previously, there were no plans to charge for water using meters, but they were used to help “reduce consumption, identify leaks, and give us better information about water use”, the council’s website notes.

“Water meters were first raised as part of the 2015 Long-Term Plan process.

“In the Long Term Plan consultation in 2018, 56 per cent of respondents supported installing water meters on all residential properties that are connected to the urban water supply.

“Based on results in other districts, installing water meters could reduce water loss from leaks by up to 30 per cent, and reduce demand by 20 per cent.”

The LTP report said water resilience is a “key area of focus for council and our community”.

Along with developing a water meter charging policy, key LTP actions for water resilience in the LTP include expanding the council’s raw water storage capacity at Kaituna [$8.4 million] and additional reservoir capacity [$7.9m].

The council will also invest $10.2m in water main renewals in the first three years of the LTP.

This includes $3.9m for trunk main replacement, which will be loan-funded.

The average of $2.1m per annum over the first three years of water main renewals is a step up from the previous spend of $1.6m per year.

The impact on the average ratepayer by year three of the LTP will be an additional $96 per year — or $1.85 per week.

In the wastewater space, Masterton District Council will be investing $6.27m in sewer reticulation renewals in the first three years, with $1.22m coming from external funds.

“Wastewater and associated challenges have been top of mind for council over the past two years, with issues exacerbated by heavy rainfall and high water tables,” the report said.

Over three years, the impact of the additional rates funding needed on the average urban residential property will be $91 per annum — $1.75 per week.

The council will also invest $600k per year into stormwater renewals and maintenance.

The council will not be consulting on three waters spending because the increased spend relates to essential work that is required to improve the three waters network.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


  1. Starts off with good intentions 😌 but there is a plan that executives in council had all along. Don’t know why we have elected councilors all they run is the milk and biscuits for executives of the council 🤔 🙄 😐 😳. Wairarapa citizens 🤔 need to wake up and get rid of the three councils and have ONE COUNCIL 🤔 THE MORE RATE PAYERS A COUNCIL HAS THE LESS BACK DOOR TRICKS EXECUTIVES CAN DO. START POETIC JUSTICE FOR ALL OF WAIRARAPA COMMUNITY.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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