Part 8: The end result

Inquiry into procurement of work by Westland District Council at Franz Josef.

In this Part, we briefly summarise what the work achieved, how much it cost, how the Council intends to fund it, and what is now happening with a replacement wastewater plant.

Improved flood protection

The work resulted in the construction of 700 metres of rock-protected stopbank on the bank of the Waiho River, and the raising of the level of a 250-metre length of the existing flood embankment.

We were told that the new stopbank provides improved flood protection for the wastewater plant and other property adjacent to the stopbank. The Council and the Regional Council staff we spoke to believe the new stopbank will provide 10-20 years of flood protection for the wastewater plant at its current location.


The work, including the development of a new infiltration gallery, had been estimated to cost about $1.3 million. Based on information provided to us, the Council spent $1,228,151 (excluding GST) on contractors for the new stopbank.

This figure does not include the cost of the Council's Project Manager, costs associated with its application for retrospective resource consent, or the cost of developing the infiltration gallery. The infiltration gallery had been part of the original scope of the work but was not completed at the time.

The Council is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and, where necessary, the raising of the new stopbank to compensate for rising riverbed levels.

How the stopbank has been paid for

The Council has paid for the new stopbank using funds originally allocated to the Franz Josef Waste Water Treatment Project. The Council had allocated $1.5 million to this project in the 2017/18 financial year, which was to be funded by a loan.

The Council's original plan was for the loan used for a new wastewater plant to be serviced and repaid by means of a targeted wastewater rate on the Franz Josef community.

As part of the 2018 review of the Council's long-term plan, elected members were alerted to the need to consider a special targeted rate on properties that directly benefited from the stopbank. However, this idea does not appear to have progressed.

In the absence of a special targeted rate, the loan used to pay for the new stopbank is currently serviced by all properties in Westland connected to the Council's wastewater system.

Update on upgrade of wastewater treatment plan

With the new flood protection in place, the Council has pursued the idea of keeping the wastewater plant in its current location and upgrading it.

In December 2017, it was announced that the Council would receive $1.9 million from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund on the basis of this proposal.