Thanks to everyone who provided advice and feedback on the the 2023 Wastewater Network Strategy. You gave us a clear understanding of your thoughts and helped us gain insight into what you understand, want and value most so that we can prioritise our work. Because of the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, we held extra community events to get more feedback. For more information, please read the engagement summary.
We have heard your feedback and are committed to making meaningful improvements to bring about the targets our strategy will deliver for the city.
We are investing $10.7 billion over the next ten years to reduce the impact of wastewater overflows on the environment and 2023/24 will be our largest ever in terms of infrastructure investment. Most of your feedback was in support of our plan to reduce overflows, with many wanting us to go further and others concerned about the impact of increased investment on water bills.
A primary concern raised during our engagements and research with customers was the lack of understanding in the wider community about how the wastewater network operates. Those who attended our community events tended to be highly knowledgeable and passionate about the environment. But we found that many Aucklanders don’t know the impacts of their actions at home on the wastewater network, or how the network operates. This made it difficult to engage meaningfully in conversations about our strategy, like how we should balance affordability and protect the environment in Auckland. What follows are some steps we will take to improve this situation, which alongside our significant investment in infrastructure, will help to bring about better environmental outcomes:
- Engage more consistently: We will establish an ongoing and regular engagement process to ensure continuous communication and involvement which will help improve water literacy in the community, reduce fatbergs and improve the quality and breadth of our community engagement.
- Building resilient communities: We will focus on strategies and initiatives that promote community resilience and preparedness in the knowledge that we will have more heavy rain events. We will help to prepare our city in partnership with the community.
- Improving data and transparency: To enhance accessibility to data and information regarding wastewater network performance, we are actively exploring opportunities, systems, and practices that will facilitate increased visibility of overflow information and provide a better view of the wastewater network’s performance. Watch this space.
- Always on: We will actively seek input from our communities on design and investment in wastewater management, in ways that work for a diverse audience, outside of our consent obligation timings.
Let us know what you think of our engagement summary, especially if we haven’t covered your views or haven’t correctly understood the sentiment you provided.