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Aurecon and Watercare, partnering to transform the delivery of Auckland’s water services

Watercare poutiaki tikanga Maori Richie Waiwai at the powhiri at Watercare’s Newmarket head office

Watercare poutiaki tikanga Maori Richie Waiwai at the powhiri at Watercare’s Newmarket head office

26 July 2022 – Set to bring game changing benefits for Aotearoa New Zealand communities, Watercare has appointed Aurecon as a joint Strategy and Planning Partner, in a ten-year partnership that will transform how water infrastructure is delivered to create better long-term outcomes for all.

International design, engineering, and advisory company Aurecon has been appointed alongside Stantec, as one of two Strategic Planning Partners for Watercare – Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest water utility which supplies safe water and wastewater services to 1.7 million people in the Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland region. The decade-long collaboration takes a strategic, long-term view to build and maintain water and wastewater infrastructure for Aucklanders more seamlessly, economically, and effectively than ever before, enabling integrated end-to-end delivery and development.

Aurecon’s Managing Director, Tracey Ryan said this collaboration is a transformational partnership that will help to prioritise $9bn of investment earmarked for capital works over 10 years, and Aurecon will be pivotal in supporting Watercare’s vision to reduce carbon emissions, reduce the cost of built infrastructure and improving health, safety and wellbeing for all.

“This is a revolutionary model of partnership built around carbon reduction, smarter spending and improved health and wellbeing. It is a game changer for the water sector in Aotearoa New Zealand and Aurecon brings international best practice in strategy, planning and partnerships, a strong track record in the water sector in Australia, and success in delivering major infrastructure projects in Aotearoa New Zealand within partnerships.

“With our experience – combined with our innovative and digital culture of continuous improvement, and our diverse, collaborative team – we will deliver a future-focussed programme of work that will bring greater efficiencies, reduced risk, drive innovation at scale and enable development of long-term relationships with communities.”

The partnership will also help to deliver meaningful Māori outcomes that will benefit and advance Māori business, identity and culture, and build on Watercare’s provision of essential lifeline services to all communities of Tāmaki Makaurau. Aurecon will work with the partners to elevate understanding of the cultural importance of water, embrace and develop cultural competencies within the partnership, and help to ensure iwi and mana whenua are active partners, decision makers and participants with Watercare.

Over the ten-year partnership, more than 60 Aurecon staff will work across 70-80 projects at its peak and Aurecon’s Watercare Client Leader, Rebecca Strang, said Aurecon’s team will provide expert advice across Watercare’s wide ranging strategic capital works portfolio.

“Working with our partners, our contribution will include a range of programme and project delivery activities spanning strategic planning, feasibility studies to investigate viability of design options, business case preparation, and establishment of common data environment and processes.”

This partnership further strengthens Aurecon’s water sector partnership track record, which includes WaterNSW, Sydney Water, Urban Utilities, and SA Water. These partnerships are transforming how water services are delivered, improving long-term water security in metropolitan and regional areas, creating employment, generating economic benefit and positive environmental outcomes that contribute to thriving and resilient communities.

At a pōwhiri held at Watercare’s head office in Auckland on 26 July, Watercare chief infrastructure officer Steve Webster signed contracts with strategy and planning partners, Aurecon and Stantec, and design delivery partners Beca and WSP.

Aurecon is one of two Strategy and Planning Partners (with Stantec) who will join Design Delivery Partners (WSP and BECA), Construction Partners (Fletchers and Fulton Hogan) and Watercare to deliver on their ambitions.

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