Ross Waugh

Ross is the founder of Waugh Infrastructure Management and is an Infrastructure Asset Management and systems integration specialist with over 30 years of experience in municipal government infrastructure asset management and engineering.

Ross is also the founder and principal author of a site developed to assist industry professionals with the practice of infrastructure management.

Ross is passionate about assisting people to practice Infrastructure Asset Management holistically and comprehensively yet practically. His strategic analysis of client practices is balanced with a
strong practical background that always ensures results not theory. Ross has experience of six cycles of integrating infrastructure asset management planning with long term municipal government financial planning within the New Zealand context.

Specialties: Infrastructure Asset Management, Asset Information Systems analysis and support, infrastructure risk management, municipal infrastructure management, infrastructure service delivery, infrastructure management policy. 

Presentation Title:

Consultation with communities on service levels, reflections on 21 years of experience in New Zealand.


New Zealand started its formal infrastructure asset management journey in the mid 1990’s following the effects of a severe economic recession. Infrastructure asset management was mandated by law for municipalities, who own and manage the majority of public water networks (water, wastewater and stormwater) in New Zealand.

In 2002 further law changes required municipalities to formally consult with their communities regarding levels of service, public expenditure, future plans for expenditure and outline current and future plans for public infrastructure expenditure – roads, water utilities, parks, public buildings and community services (libraries, art galleries, theatres, auditoriums, sports grounds)

As the mandated community level of service consultation practice progressed and developed there were lessons along the way. The successes and challenges have shaped the development of this practice over the past 21 years.

The presentation will highlight how New Zealand infrastructure management level of service community consultation practice has developed, from the early attempts with too much technical detail, through to working out what communities want to consider and the ongoing challenge of having the ‘right debate’ with communities.

Three short case studies will highlight examples of what has worked and some of the successes challenges of New Zealand level of service community consultation.

Whilst the affordability of the maintenance and renewal of utility infrastructure remains a ongoing challenge in New Zealand, community consultation has led to good outcomes when correctly used.