Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show that Hamilton City Council has been considering installing water meters, including smart water meters, since 2012.
Below you can read the reply I received when I made a request under the Local Government Official Information Act for information regarding the Hamilton City Council’s plans regarding water meters, and supporting documentation is attached below the text of the email.
If you live in Hamilton and do not want water meters in general or smart water meters in particular you may wish to make your views known to the Council. The water meters that have been trialled to date in NZ produce pulses of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range every 8 seconds. This radiation has been classified as a possible carcinogen. (You can read about the health and environmental concerns with smart water meters at this link:
If smart water meters were installed in Hamilton they could add considerably to the “EMR” smog in the city.
It appears likely that the WEL Network Ltd so-called “smart box” (actually a smart meter) may be able to be teamed up with “smart” water meters to collect the data from “smart” water meters. (See this link for a discussion of this issue.) It is NOT compulsory to have a smart box if you do not want one. Please see these links for information on the smart box issue:
Email received in response to request for information on water meters, including smart water meters
Sent: Friday, 19 September 2014 2:50 p.m.
To: Katherine Smith
Subject: FW: OFFICIAL INFORMATION REQUEST RESPONSE – KATHERINE SMITH – WATER METER BOXES IN FAIRFIELD
Please find below Hamilton City Council’s (HCC) response to your Official Information request, dated 6th August 2014, in respect of the water meter boxes installed in Fairfield.
Regarding the recently installed water meter boxes in Fairfield, Hamilton
- i) What are the names of the streets in which these boxes were installed
- ii) What is the total number of water meter boxes installed?
iii) Were the boxes installed by staff employed directly by the Council?
- iv) If yes, what was the cost of the actual water meter boxes?
- v) If yes, what was the estimated cost of the Council staff labour used in installing the water meter boxes?
- vi) If the Council contracted out the installation of the water meter boxes to another party what is the name of the company to which this contract was awarded?
vii) What is the total value of this contract?
viii) Please supply a copy of the contract for the installation of the water meter boxes.
Toby Boxes, which can be utilised to house water meters, have been installed in Sare Cresent, Fairfield. There were a total of 51 boxes installed. The installation was completed by HCC staff at an estimated labour cost of $11.25 per box. HCC did not contract out the installation of water meter boxes in Fairfield.
HCC is unable to disclose the cost of the Toby boxes, as these were supplied under contract and the cost is considered commercially sensitive. Consequently, the Information in respect of the cost of the Toby Boxes is withheld under Section 7(2)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 – in that release would be likely to unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of a person who supplied or is the subject of the information.
Please supply copies of all other documents including but not limited to, email correspondence, minutes of meetings, internal memos, advice received, etc. relating to the installation of the water meter boxes in Fairfield.
The only correspondence Council has on record is your Official Information Request.
Please supply copies of all correspondence between Council staff and/or councillors with WEL Networks Ltd, or their agents, regarding possible integration of WEL Networks Ltd “smart boxes” with Council infrastructure.
Please supply copies of all Council documents (including but not limited to, minutes of meetings, internal memos, advice received, etc.) regarding possible integration of WEL Networks Ltd “smart boxes” with Council infrastructure.
Please find attached copies of information, as requested, which HCC considers can be made available to you in accordance with the purposes of LGOIMA and the principle of availability.
Copies of some information has been withheld under the following sections of the of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 as follows:
Section 7(2)(b)(i) – in that release would disclose a trade secret. The information is withheld on the grounds that providing this information would disclose a trade secret belonging to WEL.
Section 7(2)(b)(ii) – in that release would be likely to unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of a person who supplied or is the subject of the information. The information is withheld on the grounds that it would unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of WEL.
Please be advised that the withheld information is in the form of a proposed MOU and confidentiality agreement that WEL has put to HCC relating to HCC being an observer and having the opportunity to learn from a technology trial with Smart Metering.
If you have any concerns with the decisions referred to in this letter, you have the right to request an investigation and review by the Ombudsman under section 27(3) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. For your information, the Ombudsman’s contact details are:
Post: PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143
Telephone:0800 802 602
I must apologise that there was a delay in replying to your request.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
On Behalf of the Privacy Officer
Other documentation supplied by the Hamilton City Council
In addition to the email above, the following document was supplied by Hamilton City Council.