Banks Peninsula Dist Council installed them in Akaroa, just prior to amalgamation with CHCH City, against a background of acute demand supply problems, particularly when holidays swell the consumer base from under 1000 to in excess of 10 000 souls.
Many residents were seriously concerned with possible financial burdens that have not happened, yet.
However, the big plus - meters allowed discovery of waste through leakage and overuse that could be controlled from addressing problems revealed. More importantly, they improved awareness of water use or, all to often, misuse.
In measuring water use, the salient fact of the cost of delivery and disposal - really the only cost, particularly for a geographically advantaged region such as Canterbury - becomes apparent and therefore can be measured with a degree of fairness in sharing the cost.
Farrar points out the inherent unfairness of the fixed charge system or general rate option, where a single pensioner with a limited garden, no vehicles, and very low domestic water use, pays the same fixed charge as a large household with considerable varied water use and in all probability a much more wasteful attitude.
Nothing is free in spite of the constant claims to the contrary.
Water is becoming increasingly expensive due to quality and quantity demands but sadly with the voracious appetite of local authorities for cash, they see an opportunity to tap into water rates as a convenient option, ignoring cost and a seeking to maximise another income stream.