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New President for Water New Zealand

New President for Water New Zealand

Brent Manning, Group Manager for Engineering Services at South Taranaki District Council, has been elected president of Water New Zealand.

Mr Manning has been a member of the board of Water New Zealand for the past three years and is keen to see the New Zealand water industry become a world exemplar.

“Water now sits high on the policy agenda with declining water quality being consistently ranked by New Zealanders as their number one environmental concern over the past few years. A lot of good work has been put into improving management of the resource recently and during my term of office I’m keen to see this focus continue,” said Mr Manning.

“An Environmental Reporting Bill is before Parliament. Once passed it will put in place a reporting regime for water quality in New Zealand akin to international best practice.”

“Additionally Local Government Act reforms introduced in 2010 will require councils to report publicly on the performance of their water infrastructure against a range of measures determined by the Department of Internal Affairs.”

“Regional councils are busy consulting with their communities on implementing the recently revised National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. Under this regime we now have a national objectives framework for managing water. This policy will be reviewed in 2016,” he said.

Since graduating with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury, Mr Manning has spent 20 years working in local government in New Zealand, plus two years with an engineering consultancy specifically engaged on a water project. He was the Manager of Water and Wastes for New Plymouth District Council for nearly ten years. His achievements included over-viewing the $14m upgrade of the New Plymouth water treatment plant to comply with drinking water standards and to future proof its capacity, and the $23m Oakura sewerage scheme.

Mr Manning has also been a NZ Army reservist for 27 years. He spent one of those years on full time engagement as a United Nations Military Observer in Israel, Syria and Lebanon. During this time he was responsible for the construction of a protective bomb shelter for other United Nations Military Observers in southern Lebanon, primarily as a result of a number of close calls with mortar bombs landing near their permanent accommodation.

In February 2011, Mr Manning worked as part of a team restoring water supply to residential areas of Christchurch in the immediate post-earthquake aftermath. “I was able to see firsthand the importance of water supply and its essential nature for sustenance, hygiene and public health” Mr Manning said of this experience.


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