Part B: Our work in detail

2 Environment
Taiao

The Council is responsible for vital services such as water supply, waste reduction and disposal, and wastewater and stormwater. We fund conservation attractions such as Zealandia and Wellington Zoo, manage open spaces such as the Town Belt and Outer Green Belt, and the city’s beaches and coastline.

We fund these services because they are critical to the lives of individual Wellingtonians and to the community as a whole. They ensure that the city is safe and liveable, and that basic human needs are met. They minimise harmful effects from human activity. They also provide recreation opportunities, attract visitors, and make the city a beautiful place to live.

The Council is a regulator, funder and provider of services in the environment area. The environment is the Council’s biggest area of activity, with the majority of funding going on core services such as water, wastewater and stormwater.

Key projects

Low-Carbon Capital Plan 2016–18

The Council aims to make Wellington the “low carbon capital” and has agreed a plan that will support immediate climate change action and build a foundation to support our low carbon aspirations. The plan has three pillars of action:

Zealandia

The Council has agreed it will purchase the Zealandia Visitor Centre from the Karori Sanctuary Trust for $10.3 million. In return, the Trust will repay the loan it owes the Council and the Guardians of the Sanctuary will approve amendments to its Trust deed to allow the Guardians to provide nominations to the Council for future Trust Board members. Both these changes will be progressed during the year and the designation of the Trust will be changed to a Council-controlled organisation, where the Council has overall governance control. In addition, the Council will maintain its grant funding at $875,000 for 2016/17 and will continue its in-kind support for the activities and initiatives Zealandia provides to visitors and residents.

Wastewater laterals

The Council has agreed to investigate the feasibility and impact of assuming ownership of wastewater laterals in the road reserve. Wastewater laterals are pipes that connect the plumbing in homes and businesses to public sewer mains. Private property owners in Wellington are currently responsible for the repair and renewal of wastewater laterals all the way to the connection with the public sewer main, including any parts under road reserve (mainly roads and verges). During 2016/17 further work will be undertaken to determine the condition of wastewater laterals, consequences of assuming ownership, and policy changes and consultation required to give effect to any changes in ownership.

Our Natural Capital

Our Natural Capital: Wellington’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is our vision for the city’s indigenous biodiversity.

It is an ongoing project with a budget of $330,000 for 2016/17. It aims to:

Walkway upgrades

We deliver ongoing renewals and upgrades of programme of trails as per the Open Spaces Access Implementation Plan and Our Capital Spaces. The purpose of the renewals and upgrade programme is to:

Harbour Escarpment Walk

The Harbour Escarpment Walkway will eventually link Waihinahina Park in Newlands to Kaiwharawhara, running through Newlands along the coastal escarpment. It was identified in the Northern Reserves Management Plan and some components have already been developed. The new work in 2016/17 will cost $350,000 and will significantly improve the connectivity between these parts and increase its value for both locals and visitors.

Hydraulic modelling

The Council needs to better understand the existing capacity of the stormwater network, where and to what extent we are providing flood protection across a range of event severity, and where the areas exposed to high flood risk are. Hydraulic modelling projects will address this with $1.5 million budgeted in 2016/17. There are some known problem areas, and progressive improvement in these areas as well as advancing our understanding of citywide issues are planned.

Stormwater upgrades

The Council manages the network that collects, transports and disposes of stormwater. We work hard to reduce the risks of flooding and pollution but stormwater is discharged – untreated – into Wellington Harbour and streams. The Council is committing resources each year to improving water quality in the inner harbour and along the south coast. For 2016/17 this amount is $4.1 million.

Lyall Bay foreshore

In 2016/17 stage one of the Lyall Bay Foreshore Resilience Plan will be completed for around $1.0 million. Under the plan, the car park at Surfers Corner will be repaired, a new block wall built for the middle beach, and pipe extensions and rock riprap built at the western end of the beach.

Environment – group of activitiesTop

GROUP OF ACTIVITIES RATIONALE SERVICE OFFERING NEGATIVE EFFECTS
2.1 Gardens, beaches and green open spaces

2.1.1 Local parks and open spaces

2.1.2 Botanic gardens

2.1.3 Roads open spaces

2.1.4 Town belts

2.1.5 Community environmental initiatives

2.1.6 Walkways

2.1.7 Biodiversity
Provide access to green open spaces

Provide public places to congregate

Provide access to recreational opportunities

Enhance biodiversity
Manage and maintain:
  • 4000ha of parks, reserves and beaches
  • 200 buildings for community use
  • 340km of walking and mountain bike tracks
  • over 200,000 square metres of amenity bedding and horticultural areas
  • boat ramps, wharves, seawalls and slipways
In our management of the city’s green open spaces, we seek to balance recreation needs against environmental protection. While recreational use can have negative effects on the immediate environment, in most cases these are not significant.

We do not anticipate any other significant negative effects associated with our management of these services.
2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation

2.2.1 Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling

2.2.2 Management closed landfills aftercare

2.2.3 Energy efficiency and conservation
Minimise and manage waste Manage and monitor:
  • landfill operations/ composting waste at the Southern Landfill
  • domestic recycling and rubbish collection
  • the environmental impacts of closed landfills
  • programmes to educate residents to manage and minimise waste effectively
Waste management has the potential to create leachates and gases. The construction and management of the Southern Landfill is designed to minimise the impact of these. The service is subject to resource consent conditions and is monitored.
2.3 Water

2.3.1 Water network
Security of supply of potable water
  • Ensure high-quality water is available at all times for drinking and other household and business uses
  • Maintain 80 reservoirs, 34 pumping stations, 8000 hydrants and 1250km of pipes
We do not anticipate any significant negative effects associated with our provision of these services.
2.4 Wastewater

2.4.1 Sewage collection and disposal

2.4.2 Sewage treatment
Clean waterways are essential for public health and to the city’s environment. Provide and monitor:
  • the city’s sewage collection, treatment and disposal in line with resource consent conditions
  • a real-time network monitoring system
  • the performance of Wellington Water
The wastewater network aims to minimise the harm to people that would arise without it. The Council has made significant investment in plant and equipment to treat the waste before it is disposed. There is the risk of minor overflows into waterways during storm events. These occurrences are rare and are monitored to reduce public health impacts.
2.5 Stormwater

2.5.1 Stormwater management
Keep people and property safe from flooding
  • Maintain, renew and upgrade the stormwater network to protect flooding
  • Introduce a hydraulic model
  • Monitor the performance of Wellington Water
The stormwater network aims to minimise the impact of flooding. The network can carry containments, such as oils from roads or run-off from developments, into waterways. We educate residents to change behaviours, such as pouring paint down drains, and monitor our waterways.
2.6 Conservation attractions Inform and educate on the importance of conservation and biodiversity

Attract visitors

Protection of flora and fauna
  • Provide funding to Wellington Zoo, and support its expansion with the new Meet the Locals exhibition
  • Part-fund Zealandia, and monitor its performance
  • Provide a one-off $6m grant for the development of an Ocean Exploration Centre on the south coast (subject to third party funding and a final business case)
We do not anticipate any significant negative effects associated with our role in these services.

Environment – performance measuresTop

ENVIRONMENT
Objectives Security of supply

Waste reduction

Access to green open spaces

Biodiversity
Outcome indicators Open space land owned or maintained by the Council – total hectares and sqm per capita

Residents' usage of the city's open spaces – local parks and reserves, botanic gardens, beaches and coastal areas, and walkways

Residents' perceptions that the natural environment is appropriately managed and protected

Hours worked by recognised environmental volunteer groups and botanic garden volunteers

Water consumption (commercial and residential combined)

Freshwater biological health (macro invertebrates) – Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams

Freshwater quality – Makara, Karori, Kaiwharawhara and Porirua streams (note data for Owhiro Stream not available)

Energy use per capita

Number/sqm of “green star” buildings/space in the city

Total kerbside recycling collected per capita

Total waste to the landfill per capita

Selected indicators from the City Biodiversity Index (specific indicators to be confirmed)
2.1 Gardens, beaches and green open spaces

2.1.1 Local parks and open spaces

2.1.2 Botanic gardens

2.1.3 Beaches and coast operations

2.1.4 Roads open spaces

2.1.5 Town belts

2.1.6 Community environmental initiatives

2.1.7 Walkways

2.1.8 Biodiversity (pest management)

2.1.9 Waterfront public space
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality of the open spaces we provide Residents' satisfaction (%) with the quality and maintenance of green open spaces – local parks, playgrounds and reserves; botanic gardens; beaches and coastal areas; and walkways 90% 90% 90%
Number of visitors to the Botanic Gardens (including Otari-Wilton’s Bush) 1,280,000 1,280,000 1,280,000
To measure the quality of street cleaning services Residents' satisfaction (%) with the quality of street cleaning 85% 85% 85%
Street cleaning (%) compliance with quality performance standards 98% 98% 98%
To measure the quality and quantity of work we undertake to protect biodiversity We will plant 2 million trees by 2020 1,539,927
(77% of 2020 target)
1,690,127
(85% of 2020 target)
2 million by 2020
(100% of target)
High value biodiversity sites (%) covered by integrated animal pest control or weed control 59% 63% 70% by 2020
Proportion of grant funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 95% 95% 95%
2.2 Waste reduction and energy conservation

2.2.1 Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling management

2.2.2 Closed landfills aftercare

2.2.3 Energy efficiency and conservation
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality of waste reduction and recycling services Residents (%) satisfaction with recycling collection services 85% 85% 85%
Waste diverted from the landfill (tonnes) at least 16,500 tonnes of recyclable material at least 16,500 tonnes of recyclable material at least 16,500 tonnes of recyclable material
Residents (%) who regularly use recycling (including weekly, fortnightly or monthly use) 90% 90% 90%
To measure the quality of our waste disposal services Residents (%) satisfaction with waste collection services 90% 90% 90%
Energy sourced from the Southern Landfill (GWh) 8 GWh 8 GWh 8 GWh
To measure the amount (quantity) of the Council's energy consumption and emissions WCC corporate energy use (including WCC general, pools and recreation centres, and CCOs) Decrease in energy use from previous year Decrease in energy use from previous year Declining trend
WCC corporate greenhouse gas emissions Compared to 2003, reduce emissions 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 Compared to 2003, reduce emissions 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 Compared to 2003, reduce emissions 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050
2.3 Water

2.3.1 Water network

2.3.2 Water collection and treatment
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality of water supplied to residents and the services that ensure security of supply Compliance with Drinking Water Standards for NZ 2005 (revised 2008) (Part 4 bacterial compliance criteria) and (Part 5 protozoal compliance criteria)
 
100% 100% 100%
Maintenance of water supply quality gradings from Ministry of Health
 
Maintain Maintain Maintain
Customer satisfaction with water supply 90% 90% 90%
Number of complaints about: n/a n/a n/a

(a) drinking water clarity
(b) drinking water taste
(c) drinking water odour
(d) drinking water pressure or flow
(e) drinking water continuity of supply
(f) responsiveness to drinking water complaints

per 1000 connections.
     
Median response time for:      

(a) attendance for urgent call outs

60min 60min 60min

(b) resolution for urgent call out

4 hours 4 hours 4 hours

(c) attendance for non-urgent call outs

36 hours 36 hours 36 hours

(d) resolution for non-urgent call outs

15 days 15 days 15 days
Percentage of real water loss from networked reticulation system <14% <14% <14%
Average drinking water consumption/resident/day 375 litres per day 375 litres per day 375 litres per day
Number of unplanned supply cuts per 1000 connections < 4 < 4 < 4
2.4 Wastewater

2.4.1 Sewage collection and disposal network

2.4.2 Sewage treatment
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality and timeliness of the wastewater service Number of wastewater reticulation incidents per km of reticulation pipeline (blockages)
 
<=1.2 <=1.2 <=1.2
Dry weather wastewater overflows/1000 connections 0 0 0
Customer satisfaction with the wastewater service 75% 75% 75%
Number of complaints about: n/a n/a n/a

(a) wastewater odour
(b) wastewater system faults
(c) wastewater system blockages
(d) responsiveness to wastewater system issues

per 1000 connections.
     
Median response time for wastewater overflows:      
(a) attendance time (a) <= 1 hour (a) <= 1 hour (a) <= 1 hour
(b) resolution time (b) <=6 hours (b) <=6 hours (b) <=6 hours
To measure the impact of wastewater on the environment Breaches of resource consents for discharges from wastewater system. Number of: 0 0 0

abatement notices
infringement notices
enforcement orders
convictions 

for discharges from wastewater system
     
2.5 Stormwater

2.5.1 Stormwater management
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality and timeliness of the stormwater service Number of pipeline blockages per km of pipeline <= 0.5 <= 0.5 <= 0.5
Customer satisfaction with stormwater management 75% 75% 75%
Number of complaints about stormwater system performance per 1000 connections n/a n/a n/a
Median response time to attend a flooding event <= 60 minutes <= 60 minutes <= 60 minutes
  Breaches of resource consents for discharges from stormwater system. Number of: 0 0 0
To measure the impact of stormwater on the environment

abatement notices
infringement notices
enforcement orders
convictions 

for discharges from stormwater system
     
Number of flooding events n/a n/a n/a
Number of habitable floors per 1000 connected homes per flooding event n/a n/a n/a
Percentage of days during the bathing season (1 November to 31 March) that the monitored beaches are suitable for recreational use 90% 90% 90%
Percentage of monitored sites that have a rolling 12-month median value for E.coli (dry weather samples) that do not exceed 1000 cfu/100ml 90% 90% 90%
2.6 Conservation attractions

2.6.1 Conservation visitor attractions
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the success of our investments in conservation attractions Wellington Zoo – visitors 239,408 242,520 245,673
Zealandia – visitors 99,300 96,500 98,430

Environment – activity budgetTop

2.1 GARDENS, BEACHES AND GREEN OPEN SPACES 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.1.1 - Local parks and open spaces 8,756 8,791
2.1.2 - Botanic gardens 4,752 4,724
2.1.3 - Beaches and coast operations 1,409 1,283
2.1.4 - Roads open spaces 8,147 8,712
2.1.5 - Town belts 4,665 4,722
2.1.6 - Community environmental initiatives 743 757
2.1.7 - Walkways 582 604
2.1.8 - Biodiversity (pest management) 1,704 1,824
2.1.9 - Waterfront public space 1,737 4,856
Total operating expenditure 32,494 36,273
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.1.1 - Local parks and open spaces 1,286 705
2.1.2 - Botanic gardens 433 530
2.1.3 - Beaches and coast operations 227 1,176
2.1.4 - Roads open spaces - -
2.1.5 - Town belts 135 248
2.1.6 - Community environmental initiatives - -
2.1.7 - Walkways 550 1,014
2.1.8 - Biodiversity (pest management) - -
2.1.9 - Waterfront public space - -
Total capital expenditure 2,632 3,673
2.2 WASTE REDUCTION AND ENERGY CONSERVATION 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.2.1 - Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling management 12,836 13,268
2.2.2 - Closed landfills aftercare 522 414
2.2.3 - Energy efficiency and conservation 282 416
Total operating expenditure 13,641 14,098
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.2.1 - Waste minimisation, disposal and recycling management 1,238 673
2.2.2 - Closed landfills aftercare - -
2.2.3 - Energy efficiency and conservation - 65
Total capital expenditure 1,238 738

2.3 WATER 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.3.1 - Water network 23,394 24,358
2.3.2 - Water collection and treatment 14,932 15,934
Total operating expenditure 38,327 40,292
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.3.1 - Water network 16,951 14,915
2.3.2 - Water collection and treatment - -
Total capital expenditure 16,951 14,915
2.4 WASTEWATER 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.4.1 - Sewage collection and disposal network 19,157 20,058
2.4.2 - Sewage treatment 22,654 23,540
Total operating expenditure 41,811 43,598
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.4.1 - Sewage collection and disposal network 10,481 11,236
2.4.2 - Sewage treatment - -
Total capital expenditure 10,481 11,236
2.5 STORMWATER 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.5.1 - Stormwater management 17,588 18,147
Total operating expenditure 17,588 18,147
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.5.1 - Stormwater management 4,455 7,020
Total capital expenditure 4,455 7,020
2.6 CONSERVATION ATTRACTIONS 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.6.1 - Conservation visitor attractions 6,459 6,989
Total operating expenditure 6,459 6,989
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
2.6.1 - Conservation visitor attractions 1,316 817
Total capital expenditure 1,316 817