Our board of directors has confirmed Auckland’s water and wastewater service prices will increase by 9.5% from 1 July 2023.
This follows the price path approved by the board of directors in December 2020 and included in Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan which was formally adopted in June 2021, after public consultation.
Chief executive Dave Chambers says: “Since the board approved the price path in 2020, we’ve faced significant challenges, including very high rates of inflation and extreme weather events ranging from drought to the recent floods.
“However, we know many people are facing financial strain, so it’s important to us to keep price increases as low as possible. This is why we’re sticking with the price path we communicated in 2021 as part of Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan.”
Water and wastewater service charges will increase by 9.5% on 1 July 2023, while infrastructure growth charges will rise by 8%. The price for 1000 litres of water will go from $1.825 to $1.998, while 1000 litres of wastewater will go from $3.174 to $3.476. The fixed wastewater charge will go from $264 a year to $289.
“In real terms, households with average water use will pay about $2.20 more per week,” Chambers says.
“We encourage our customers to get in touch with us if they’re struggling to pay their bills. We can work out flexible payment plans or refer them to the Water Utility Consumer Assistance Trust, which we fund to support customers suffering genuine hardship.
“Over the past year, we’ve focused heavily on reducing our controllable costs. Without this work, we would have been looking at a price increase of 10.7%, so it’s thanks to this drive to find efficiencies that we can keep the increase to 9.5%.
“One of the ways we’ve made savings is by reducing our overall head count through attrition. We’ve gone from having 1255 full-time equivalent staff in June 2022, to 1198 in January 2023.”
Photo: A concrete pour is carried out at our Redoubt Road reservoir, February 2023.
What the money is spent on
A recent review of our Asset Management Plan has identified a forecast capital expenditure increase of $3.6billion over the next 10 years.
“This takes our forecast capital expenditure to more than $13billion over the next 10 years. To fund this, we’ll need to increase the amount we borrow,” Chambers says.
“In the next financial year alone we’ll be spending more than $1b on infrastructure projects that cater for growth, replace ageing assets and deliver better outcomes for the environment. These include completing a new 45-million-litre water storage reservoir at Redoubt Road, which significantly boosts our water supply resilience, and continuing to tunnel our Central Interceptor wastewater pipe between central Auckland and our Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant.”