Is the WEL “smart box” a way to facilitate “smart” water metering?

A 2013 article in the Waikato Times suggests that one reason for  the introduction of WEL’s “smart boxes” may be to facilitate “smart” water meters in the Hamilton and Waikato area.  Leaving aside the potential health concerns with “smart boxes” and “smart” water meters, introduction of  water metering is controversial in Hamilton, due to people’s concerns that it will increase costs.  In cities where water meters have been introduced, such as Auckland, water bills may be $80 per month for a family of four – in addition to rates, adding to the cost of living.

According to the Waikato Times:

“In September last year, Mr Ninnes briefed Mr Allen on WEL Networks’ progress rolling out its electricity smart meter technology, and expectations that every property in Hamilton will be connected to the company’s new network through a fully functioning WEL Networks smart box by the middle of this year.

“Mr Ninnes then told Mr Allen he had just brought together a specialist team to develop a smart water meter “proof of concept” to demonstrate the smart boxes could also support water meters, feeding information directly to WEL.

“He discussed a small field trial of smart water meters connected to Raglan properties already hooked up to WEL Networks’ completed smart network.”

(Site editor’s note:  I have since made enquiries about this trial with Waikato District Council and was advised that the trial did not take place.)

If you are in the WEL area, and do not want to have the additional exposure to the radiofrequency radiation produced by a WEL “smart box” you are within your rights to refuse the installation of a WEL “smart box”.  For an example of a letter that prevent a WEL “smart box” installation, please see this link:

For a general discussion of “smart” water metering in NZ, please see this link: