Dunedin water meters installed ultra-fast

An angry ratepayer destroys his recently installed water meter after learning of Dunedin City Council plans to charge households for water use. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
An angry ratepayer destroys his recently installed water meter after learning of Dunedin City Council plans to charge households for water use. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Dunedin residents could soon be paying every time they turn on a tap, although the Dunedin City Council is insisting the installation of water meters is ''a trial''.

The Otago Daily Times has learnt a ''small trial batch'' of meters has been covertly installed over the past year by contractors digging up footpaths for underground ultra-fast broadband (UFB) wiring.

A council spokesman denied the meters had been sneaked in, saying the project was timed to tap into the UFB work.

''It's about basic economies. If we went in and dug up the same piece of road that had just been dug up for broadband, we'd be flooded with complaints.''

A leaked document said the revenue from the water meters could be used to help pay off Forsyth Barr Stadium debt, although water used for civic amenities - including the stadium pitch - would be exempt from the water charge.

The document suggests households will be allowed 45 litres of free water each day, enough for drinking water, three, minute-long showers and six flushings of the toilet before being charged at 50c per litre thereafter.

It goes on to explain the estimated cost of water to wash a medium-sized car will be $4; watering a lawn $9 and extra toilet flushes at $1.50.

For families who prefer to use the bath, the water department suggests sharing to save costs, with three (not too soiled) people able to follow each other in the same water with no undue health risk.

Households will be encouraged to collect rainwater, which could be bucketed inside in the event of hosting guests who may also need to use the toilet.

Anticipating a reluctance to wash cars, the document recommends city parking officers be given the authority to ticket cars they deem to be ''unnecessarily dirty''.

DCC councillors have called an emergency meeting and a statement is expected at noon.

This was soooooo good, it's scary!

Great April Fool's story ODT, I think it even tops the Speight's free beer tap one!

Metered water is coming

While a lot of you find this funny, metered water is coming to Dunedin and its not that far way. Let's see how many of you who think this is funny are laughing when it happens. A few years back the DCC looked at metering water to the home but couldn’t as the water here in Dunedin is not yet of a good enough standard where they can charge for it. Why do you think they have been trying to improve the water - for your health? Nah, for the health of the DCC bank account, that’s why. If they had forgotten about it, this ODT joke will have them all thinking about it again. So watch out, and thanks ODT for puting the idea back on the table.

Best ever

I always look forward to the ODT's April Fools joke and this is by far the best ever.

Oh, how foolish those who took the bait must feel. 

April Fools

LOL, plus the article was riddled with puns

"tap into the UFB work."

"we'd be flooded with complaints."

"A leaked document said the revenue"

As the Americans say they've been punked  


Bravo ODT!

Well played that man!  

I especially enjoyed that the moderator held back the comments that gave away the prank.  The commenters that took the article seriously were very entertaining, I've had a wonderful laugh this morning each time I checked in to read the latest!

Thanks for all the Fish

Honest Injun, I'm convinced everyone got it. Ostensibly serious comments are mere comeback irony. April fish, then, as they said in the Old World.

April fools

wow, I can't believe how many of you have had a meltdown over this article, more fool you on April fools day! To quote - DCC councillors have called an emergency meeting and a
statement is expected at noon. - unquote

This is something they always put every year on April fools day since clearly the joking ends at 12 noon. The other thing to look for is there is never a reporters name as with other articles.  Man get a sense of humour some of you.

DCC Water Charges



Yes Folks, that's what it is called, "conditioning". We are being conditioned into having to pay for water. Gee-whiz, they didn't even wait to have a "pretend consulatation" with the ratepayers on that one. Anyway, instead of paying the current suggested cost for a litre of Dunedin water, I could do better by buying Evian bottled water at whole sale cost.

Water costs

...and the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and God are all real too.... jeez you complainers are easily fooled

April fools joke? I know

April fools joke? I know this council is just a joke they have a lot more charges for things than the Christchurch council does so I think it's meant to be funny?!


Wow this certainly did wind up a fair few. Quite easy to fall for however.

It only rains in April

Great initiative. Just a note during the construction of the Stadium there was piping installed to capture rain water off the large roof. There were also storage tanks installed under the turf to allow for the use of this water during the year.

I believe the council have taken an informed and brave decision to safeguard the future of Dunedin's economic wellbeing. It is public record the Bev Butler and Lee Van Der Vis not only voted but also initiated this project. As the both have rural properties and have independent bore water they will not be subjected to charges of any kind.

Once again great things are happening in Dunedin yet funnily enough they only seem to occur this time of year!!!!


It's been fun to read the angry comments.  Now that it's midday, are we allowed to share?

Have you looked at the calendar

Check out what date it is today!

Compaints are pouring in!

Nice one ODT. Is it April already?

April 1st

One of the better ones judging by the comments!

Gosh some really worked up

Gosh some really worked up people commenting on this article! Probably easier to check the date than look up stats about what Aucklanders pay for their water and average daily household useage.

Almost as good as the year the Speight's tap was gushing free beer! 


I have to agree with so many of the comments on this article about people moving because of rising costs, however if they are moving because of the subject and content of this article then perhaps we should be saying "good riddence".

The gullibility of some people still staggers me....maybe this afternoon the may come to their senses.

Check the date

Good troll ODT

Water Rates

Well played ODT, well played.

Check the date perhaps

"a statement is expected at noon" is a clue!

What day is it today?

What day is it today?


Nice April fools gag

Just how gullible are the readers: All too willing to flap the gums and screech. Well done ODT!

Meter removal

I called the council after finding a meter outside my house. They said to just pull it out of the ground and leave it for workmen who will begin collecting them at 12.00pm.

We would be FOOLS to think this is not a great idea!

Let's save the environment by saving water!  What a great initiative to bring in before the Winter, especially starting in APRIL!

Hook, line, and sinker

Based on some of the comments here, it's really no surprise the anti-stadium crowd never got any traction.

Crack up

You guys crack me up, when are you going to tell them?


Water charges

The districts around Christchurch already pay for water. And the Christchurch City Council is installing water metres as it upgrades water mains and connections. It is only a matter of time before Christchurch residents pay for water. But hey, given I have a forward thinking Council up here that is prepared to spend money it doesn't worry me.


April fools

First off, April fools. Get a sense of humour people. 

Secondly, a lot of other district councils charge for water. It is a way of lowering rates and user pays. You want lower rates? Apply more user pay charges and then minimise what you pay for!

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