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Meters popped in

Project engineer Enrique Orellana putting in a water meter on Andrew St, Masterton for Murray Patterson. PHOTOS/KAREN COLTMAN

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The first of Masterton’s water meters were installed last week, and 9000 will follow in the next six months.

Murray Patterson was among the first Masterton residents to get a water meter last week.

He checked the usage a couple of hours after the meter was turned on and was pleased but not surprised that no water usage had been clocked up.

“The house is only eight years old, and I had no taps on so I wouldn’t expect a leak,” he said.

Masterton District Council assets and operations manager David Hopman said the meters would inform council where water was being lost on individual properties.

Most water networks lost about 15 per cent of their water supply through leaks, but in Masterton, 30 per cent of water was unaccounted for.

The council estimates installing water meters could, over the long term, reduce water loss by up to 30 per cent, and reduce demand by 20 per cent.

Water charges were planned to start in the 2021-22 financial year once user trends were assessed, Hopman said.

“Once we have completed this work, later this year we will be asking the community for feedback on our proposed way of charging for water infrastructure based on usage.

“This is likely to be part of a wider discussion about water resilience across Wairarapa and what it means for our ratepayers.”

Most meters are at properties with one dwelling, but some locations had multiple users.

Hopman said the council was working on a case-by-case basis for those properties.

“Each case is different, and some users will want one meter and one bill to a body corporate to pay and split with owners and others may want separate meters split off from the main.

“We will work all this out this year.”

The meters are battery operated and have an alarm that goes off if they are tampered with.

The meter can be read by a device remotely.

If there was no reading detected, it meant the meter was not working.

Because the water is turned off for a short time when the meter is installed, households will get an information leaflet about this scheduled work a few days in advance of it.


  1. So more taxes effectively for using water ! How will this work out for properties who share tobies ? Our rates are already pretty high here in the Wairarapa so I consider water meters another revenue gathering exercise for the Masterton District Council who need to pull finger and declare a climate emergency !

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