Horowhenua Alliance - Three Waters

Logo for  the Horowhenua Alliance.

In 2017 Horowhenua District Council adopted a new contract for operations and maintenance of all three water services – drinking water supplies, wastewater and stormwater.

It was the first time a council in New Zealand adopted a single contract to look after all three services – known as Three Waters – and it also differed from most contracts by being an “alliance contract”, which focuses on the Council and the contractor working closely together than in a traditional contract.

The alliance contract was won by Downers. This allows for Council and Downers to work collaboratively as well as spreading any risk.

Bringing the three water services together has created a collaborative working environment where economies of scale across various stages including design, project management and implementation of maintenance and operational activities.

How was Downer selected?

A full tender process was held, and nine firms expressed interest. The contract runs for five years and will expire in 2022.

Who is Downer?

Downer is an Australasian company that had already been involved in operations and maintenance of Three Waters for Horowhenua for 20 years. Downer designs, builds and sustains assets, infrastructure and facilities and is a leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand. The company dates back over 150 years and is listed on both the New Zealand and Australian Securities Exchanges as Downer EDI Limited (DOW). Downers is an ASX 100 company that also owns 88 per cent of Spotless Group Holdings Limited (SPO). The company employs more than 53,000 people across more than 300 sites, primarily in Australia and New Zealand but also in the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa. You can find out more about Downer by visiting the Downer Group website.

Who decided who won the tender?

Council brought in independent experts throughout the tender process, to talk with stakeholders, suggest the right contract type on the basis of those discussions, and help with awarding the contract and negotiating terms. The final decision was made by Elected Members via a Council resolution.

What does the contract cover?

The contract covers regular maintenance, repairs and renewals on the three water networks, as well as managing water supplies, water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

If I have a problem who do I call?

Council’s service centre is still your first port of call – email enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz or phone (06) 366 0999.