Make your way around Northland and you'll likely come across a Ventia vehicle. You might also come across Far North Waters Alliance Manager Mathew Arthur.  

Mathew oversees a 130-strong team managing the day-to-day operations of 17 wastewater plants, nine water treatment plants, urban stormwater infrastructure and approximately 750km of associated pipeline infrastructure.  

Their portfolio also includes the state-of-the-art Kerikeri Wastewater Treatment plant built by Ventia in 2020. These plants and infrastructure service not only the main urban centres of Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Paihia but many urban areas across the Far North District Council region.

"The team works hard to serve our customers, and manage these operations 24/7, 365 days a year," says Mathew. 

"My role is ensuring we all go home at the end of the day safely, and the team is set up to deliver three objectives," says Mathew.

Health and safety above all else, being compliant with regulations and redefining service excellence by making the customer our priority. We must deliver these objectives innovatively, sustainably and with clear transparent communication. 

Mathew sees his role as a partner to our client the Far North District Council and delivering the core skills with Far North Waters Alliance and for the community. 


Finding a home in Northland  

Mathew always dreamt of living in a country where the lifestyle was peaceful and laid back, but also presented a base for professional challenges. 

After working on projects in 30 countries, he has spent the last 10 years in Northland, making that dream a reality. He enjoys the simple life of walking his dogs around the garden when the sun comes up.   

Originally from the UK, an opportunity in 2013 brought Mathew and his family to the Far North of New Zealand. After 18 months, the business he was with started seeing positive results, but his family had found their home. "My family has settled into life in New Zealand, loving the Northland lifestyle and making Kerikeri our home," he said.  


The Water Reform 

Much has been spoken about the planned water reform across New Zealand over recent years.  

"Together we are prepared for the challenges ahead," Mathew says.  

The Water reform will have a significant change and outlook and although it creates uncertainty, it provides a great opportunity for investment, and to make a difference.

The current reform proposal would see water services shift from being delivered by 67 individual councils to ten new water services entities. The Far North District water services will be transferred into the first new entity along with the water assets and services of Kaipara District, Whangarei District and Auckland. Entity A has now been named Wai Tamaki ki te Hiku and will commence operations on 1 July 2024.  


Whilst there are some discussions around how the reform will look  following change of government the need and desire for investment remains.  

"As an Alliance, we will deliver success, and steer it into the transition and the new era of water reform. Even with the uncertainty of a new Government and the future of water reform, the delivery by Ventia remains unchanged. Ventia will continue to work with its partners to deliver the above objectives with significant investment required in the coming years to upgrade infrastructure.", says Mathew. 

Mathew says the principal driver for reform is to allow the delivery of major investment into water, wastewater and stormwater assets.  

There's a need for investment, sustainability and innovation, and Ventia will be at the forefront of this regardless of any water reform change by the new Government


Innovative solutions 

Mathew and the team are always looking for opportunities to deliver innovation and sustainable practices.  

At the Paihia Water Treatment Plant, Ventia is upgrading the raw water analysis with a spectrometer. The benefits of this include enhanced raw water analysis to optimise coagulation, save chemicals, reduce wastewater discharge and deliver consistently good treatment results.  

At the Kawakawa Wastewater Treatment Plant, the team is upgrading with a different type of aeration, increasing treatment capacity by 20+%+. Previously, the treatment capacity was exhausted with Kawakawa's current population, and with the increased capacity they've removed the need for a larger treatment plant to be built, meaning significant cost savings. 

"Sustainability, innovation and client focus are our key strategic pillars at Ventia, and we are always looking at better ways of doing things to make a positive impact and lasting legacy for future generations," Mathew says proudly. 

Ventia has been providing infrastructure services in Northland for over 30 years and works in Transport, Water, Energy, Networks and Renewables, Telecommunications, Defence and Social Infrastructure. Cross sector opportunities have significant potential throughout Northland and Aotearoa.  

Ventia has welcomed me into an exciting and growing company with immense diversity and culture of people and projects. The future is an exciting one for Ventia and our Clients and I look forward to being part of this journey.