Is it possible to identify all stormwater assets in Aotearoa, bringing together disparate Councils, asset types, data formats, and ownership, to define future stewardship arrangements through water reform?

Yes. We explain how, using data standardisation, process automation and spatial analysis.

This presentation outlines key steps for bringing disparate data into a single platform for decision-making and insight, with lessons learnt for all infrastructure disciplines.

Data is an asset that requires active stewardship. We have a responsibility for the succession of institutional knowledge and building on what we know.   

The WSP, Beca, Tonkin + Taylor, and Aurecon consortia took on the National Transition Unit’s challenge to identify all stormwater assets to be transferred from Councils to Entities. We developed a collaborative data-driven solution, demonstrating how non-standard bulk data can be processed efficiently, with spatial analysis to facilitate interactive feedback. Key features were:

  • Data standardisation: assembling, filtering and mapping disparate data to a common standard.
  • Automation: using Feature Manipulation Engine to apply decision-making rules at scale (over 3 million assets were categorised in accordance with the water reform transfer principles).
  • Spatial analysis and reporting: visually presenting interactive data in a spatial environment to enable insights and facilitate effective decision-making and feedback.

The hard issue: leveraging asset data to enhance industry capability - optimising and looking after what we have, and to make informed decisions about building a better Aotearoa.  

The te ao maori principle:

Kaitiakitanga: The role of guardianship and stewardship. Being a good steward of our country’s assets through this period of reform and change by standardising and bringing together asset data into a national dataset.

James Thorne


James is a Chartered Professional Engineer with 17 years' experience in the infrastructure sector. He is passionate about making good infrastructure decisions and has specialist knowledge in infrastructure strategy, asset management, data standards and risk assessment. James is active in the world of Āpōpō as a current board member and as the Branch Chair for the Upper South Island.

Tony Anderson


Tony is a Senior Associate in Asset Advisory at Beca, based in Palmerston North, and has 28 years’ experience in New Zealand’s infrastructure management industry. As an experienced technical leader with expertise in property infrastructure delivery and management he works within the central and local government sectors. He is a specialist in Strategic Asset Management, maintenance management and organisational asset management planning, with a key focus in housing and tertiary education. Tony enjoys hunting, scuba diving and is a keen mountain biker.
Concurrent Session A

Kaitiakitanga | Tahi

Tuesday 21 May