Citizens' assembly project

We collaborated with the University of Auckland’s Centre for Informed Futures, Koi Tū, to host a citizens' assembly over four weekends throughout August and September 2022. The deliberative democracy process was a fantastic tool to help us navigate complex conversations and make decisions alongside our customers about the long-term future of Auckland’s water supply.

Citizens at the citizens' assembly event

What happened?

We brought 37 Aucklanders together for three online sessions and four in-person sessions spanning 2 months to discuss the question: "What should be the next source of water for Auckland by 2040?"

Independent experts provided information so the assembly could understand the complexity of this issue and the different water source options.

They deliberated (a facilitated, reasoned and respectful discussion) over the question to see what consensus emerged.

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Our CEO and chairwoman

What was the verdict?

At the end, the citizens wrote a report and presented it to the Chair of the our Board.

Our Board accepted all the recommendations and responded in detail to each on 1 November 2022.

Click the links below to read the final recommendations and our response.

Final recommendations button 

Our response button

One year on button
The three final recommendations banner

Recommendation 2: Desalination

Use water efficiently

Recommendation 3: Water efficiency and education

What have we done so far?

The Watercare-Koi Tū collaboration started in 2021 with four workshops in four areas of Auckland. Volunteer participants were recruited from our customer database. These short workshops helped us obtain early feedback on how to structure the full citizens' assembly.

Listen to a podcast about the deliberative democracy process and learnings from the four workshops.

Read an analysis on early learnings from the Watercare and Koi Tū partnership on deliberative democracy.