February 29, 2024

Revealed: Auckland's Watercare App costs an eye-watering $3,500,000

According to information obtained under the Local Government Official Information Act (LGOIMA), the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance can reveal that Watercare has spent over $3,500,000 creating and marketing an app that measures smart-meters across Auckland.

Watercare has spent $3,335,521 on development, $29,747 on marketing and yearly maintenance of $213,000. Furthering this, of the 540,000 dwellings of Auckland, only 44,246 smart-meters have been installed by December. The use of $500 gift card prizes, social media ads and other artworks had only seen 56,681 downloads up to December 2023.

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance spokesperson Sam Warren said:

“While people in other areas worry about running out of water, Watercare is spending millions on developing and advertising a smart-meter app that only 10% of Aucklanders can use. Already this year Auckland Council is having to loan $130 million to bailout the organisation after storms, a sewer collapse and rising costs.”

“With a yearly maintenance cost of over $200,000, spending on the app should be paused and focus must return to fixing leaks, replacing pipes and installing meters. Only then can the app return at a higher uptake at a time that makes sense.”