“Waikirikiri Selwyn – Leadership in Wai Pipe Network Renewals” is a finalist in the Leadership Award category at the 2024 Āpōpō Awards.

Waikirikiri Selwyn District Council is a national leader in evidence based wai (drinking water and wastewater) networks renewals. Through a progressive, determined approach, it has achieved one of the most comprehensive programmes. It continues to demonstrate the principles of Te Mana o Te Wai with a One Water, ki uta ki tai approach.

All involved: Selwyn District Council, Infrastructure Decision Support (IDS), and Waugh Infrastructure Management

New Zealand’s water sector asset management practices have to improve. With a substantial backlog in investment in water infrastructure, improved renewal planning process are urgently required. Waikirikiri Selwyn’s leadership in adopting the IDS Wai model (drinking water and wastewater networks) has propelled its water planning and asset management improvements to meet international best practice. Their investment in staff capability and capacity resulted in a sharply improved, evidence-based pipe renewals programme.  Additionally Waikirkiri Selwyn executive leadership recognised the direct benefit to its One Water Strategy, where co-design and partnership has brought a closer, runaka level focus on achieving the six principles embedded in Te Mana o Te Wai. This project pushed the boundaries of the IDS Wai model, setting a new precedent for the industry’s approach to water infrastructure asset management. The model improvements not only surpassed Selywn’s goals, but advanced the sectors kete of intellectual property at the same time. Watch IDS Wai (Water) Selwyn District Council Case Study here.


It is challenging to ensure successful delivery of a complex technical project for the first time. Further, when the project is of strategic importance and required within a tight timeframe, a focus on quality and understanding of roles/responsibilities is imperative.

With an objective of improving the quality, reliability and funding accuracy for pipe renewals, Waikirikiri Selwyn approached IDS and Waugh to understand the capability of IDS Wai. In response  they delivered an advanced renewals output over several linked steps.  These were (i) the partnership approach and (ii) a clearly constructed and delivered programme:

  • (i) IDS and Waugh’s partnership combined targeted and client-specific management, modelling, and engineering knowledge. For example, Waugh’s detailed knowledge of the physical environment the infrastructure was installed and maintained in (over 30 years) meant that the quality modelling outputs could be calibrated with ‘Ki uta ki tai’ mountains to sea knowledge.A high-trust model approach was imperative for this project’s success. For example, the modelling mahi undertaken by IDS and Waugh required a strong foundation of trust to ensure data, queries, and issues were resolved swiftly, reflecting a shared dedication to delivering the highest quality service at all times. Where issues occurred, such as longer than expected computation times, Waikirikiri Selwyn was informed. Information was shared quickly without compromising quality, enabling thorough valuation, funding, and asset management reporting.
  • (ii) A clearly laid out programme which identified key relationships, how the modelling project could be delivered, and the quality of the outputs. It clearly explained the stepwise work required, the timing and effort agreed upon, and the ‘must deliver by’ requirements.Waikirikiri Selwyn’s asset and data science team were encouraged to challenge the quality of the expected outputs, and in doing so understand the responsibilities, effort and natural uncertainties that would be incumbent on everyone involved.

The Leadership Award is proudly sponsored by Waugh Infrastructure Management