Wellington Scoop

Private company signs $170m deal to control Wellington’s wastewater

News from Wellington Water
The council-owned water services company Wellington Water, and global environmental services provider Veolia, have signed a 10 year, $17 million per year contract to operate and maintain the four wastewater treatment plants that serve metropolitan Wellington.

Wellington Water’s chief executive Colin Crampton said the contract marked the start of a new and exciting focus on managing wastewater for Wellingtonians.

“Veolia has a long history of involvement in the region, having operated Wellington City’s Moa Point and Western wastewater treatment plants since 2004.

“We’ll progressively be bringing all four treatment plants under one contract. This will not only provide better value for the region, but increase opportunities for improved services. We need to start thinking of wastewater treatment by-products as a resource, and Veolia is a leading company in this area.”

Alexandre Lagny, General Manager – New Zealand for Veolia, said he was delighted Veolia would be extending its commitment to the Wellington region and to delivering better environmental outcomes.

Mr Lagny stated: “Veolia operates approximately 3,000 wastewater treatment plants globally and we look forward to bringing our international expertise in this area to Wellington. Wastewater treatment is where the greatest technological innovation is taking place, when it comes to three waters management.”

Mr Lagny also affirmed Veolia’s commitment to engaging with the communities it works in, and in particular mana whenua, as it takes up the operational responsibilities for the four plants. This process will begin with the Porirua Treatment plant, and a ceremony with Ngati Toa, in early July.

Moa Point and the Western treatment plant are already under Veolia management, and the remaining plant, in Seaview, Lower Hutt, will transition in June 2020.

The population of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua combined produce about 145 million litres of wastewater every day. This water is treated at one of four plants, two in Wellington, one in Porirua and one in Lower Hutt, before being returned to the environment.

Veolia provides water, waste and energy management services to more than one million people in New Zealand, and employs over 300 people across the country.


  1. Traveller, 1. July 2019, 16:52

    I thought Wellington was proud that its water services would never be privatised?

  2. Harry Welsford, 1. July 2019, 16:56

    More stealth privatizing and expensive sub contracting for core services . So these big foreign multinationals were the ones letting faeces out into the sea around Moa Point?

  3. michael, 1. July 2019, 17:23

    If we are going to pay $170 million to bring all four Wellington Water treatment plants under one contract, I assume we can expect to see a huge reduction in Wellington Water costs and staffing when Veolia has full control of managing wastewater for Wellingtonians? Otherwise what is the point?

  4. Ms Red, 1. July 2019, 21:59

    What do you expect with the neo liberal political and executive leadership at Wellington City council? This was inevitable…what will remain as an asset owned by the ratepayers? Only the loss making Vanity project – the Convention Centre?

  5. Belle Boy, 2. July 2019, 10:15

    Does the new contract have performance measures? Water leaks must be responded to within 24 hours? [via twitter]

  6. Traveller, 2. July 2019, 13:48

    Our city’s Wellington Electricity company was sold to one of the wealthiest men in Asia ten years ago; the company was then warned by the Commerce Commission after failing to meet minimum reliability standards. A few years later, the city council contracted all our rubbish collections to another company owned by the same billionaire, with consequent redundancies when rubbish trucks were cut back to one-man operations, instead of two. Now Wellington Water are handing over one of their major activities to a privately-owned French company…Why do we allow overseas companies to profit from such core activities? Why have we lost the wish to run them ourselves (and to keep the profits for Wellington)?

  7. Mary M, 2. July 2019, 15:08

    Here here Traveller! I hope one of those fulltime PR-releasing Councillors will answer that.

  8. michael, 2. July 2019, 15:32

    Great isn’t it . . .they hand over all the responsibility yet keep their jobs to do exactly what?
    In the meanwhile costs go up and service goes down.

  9. James S, 2. July 2019, 15:59

    Maybe they have been inspired by their counterparts in France

  10. Frank, 2. July 2019, 18:34

    Amazing that WWL has the power to do this without reference to their ‘owners.’ Wasn’t Bryan Pepperell so right!