Presentation of the Watercare ISO 14000 Certificate of Registration

  • Marie Hasler
Associate Minister of the Environment

Huia Filter Station, Titirangi

Good morning everyone, Sandy Stirling, General Manager Water, Watercare Services Limited; Terry Hoskins, CEO of Telarc; and especially members of the water division of Watercare Services Limited.

I am delighted to be here - both as Associate Minister for the Environment and as MP for Waitakere - as I have the pleasure of presenting Watercare Services Limited with the ISO 14001 registration certificate.

Watercare Services Limited has actively strived for excellence through service provision. This is reflected in the Environmental Management System which was adopted in 1992 and is being recognised today with the ISO certification.

As one of the providers of a major part of Auckland's Infrastructure, Watercare has made some significant contributions to the provision of water and waste water services.

Sewage treatment

The multimillion dollar upgrade of the Mangere waste water treatment plant to advanced secondary treatment will improve the quality of the Manukau Harbour, especially with respect to pathogens and other contaminants affecting our heath and the health of harbour life.

Watercare is one of the few agencies in New Zealand with a comprehensive and proactive approach to monitoring and compliance. Instead of waiting to respond to complaints a greater emphasis is placed on planned investigative compliance surveys.

Watercare is also one of the few agencies that has identified trade waste inputs and is setting up monitoring systems to track and report on hazardous substances going into the environment.

Water Supply

The population of Auckland is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next 20-25 years. The demand on water resources will require sound infrastructure to ensure the quality and quantity of supply.

Maintaining an unrestricted, high quality water supply to the Auckland Region is reliant on winter rainfall to replenish storage lakes in the Hunua and Waitakere ranges.

The drought in 1994 highlighted the need to provide alternative sources of water. Recognising this, Watercare has had resource consents granted to build a pipeline from Tuakau on the Waikato River to the Redoubt Road Reservoir.

Preliminary work began this January on the $155 million pipeline. I believe the consortium to design and build the water pipeline and treatment plant will be selected next month.

Environmental Management System

Watercare's Environmental Management System has developed over the years to cover areas of water and waste water operations.

The current scope of the certification covers all of the Water operations and Trade Waste operations. However, I understand this may be extended to include the waste water collection system.

Benefits of the Environmental Management System and registration include data and information management; improved environmental performance; assurance of regulatory compliance; and improved community relations.

Watercare's commitment to accountability and transparency is already well known. From 1995-1998 the company won the KPMG award for best Environmental Annual Report; and won the award, sponsored by Gilkison O'Dea, again this year.

The company has also won the Arthur Mead award for upgrading the Huia Aqueduct in the Waitakere Ranges. This award is presented annually by the Institute of Professional Engineers for projects that protect or enhance the environment.

Watercare's continued improvement is a key component of the ISO 14001 system, and indeed a key to its success. By recognising further improvements can be made in operations, and by setting priorities, Watercare is able to address the most important issues first.

As a result Auckland and its people can only be the winners.

I would now like to ask Sandy Stirling, General Manager Water, to accept the ISO 14001 registration certificate on behalf of Watercare Services Limited.

Congratulations and well done to you all.