Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Councils to work closely on future of water

NEWS RELEASE

May 31, 2002.

Region’s councils to work closely on future of water industry

Auckland’s local councils should work together to investigate introducing “impervious surface charges” for stormwater as the region’s urban population and rate of development increases, according to the findings of a major water industry review.

Impervious surfaces such as roads, paved car-parking, or roof area, have much higher rates of water run-off than soil or vegetated surfaces. Such surfaces significantly increase the quantity of water flowing into the region’s stormwater systems, heightening the risk of flooding and contaminants being flushed into our natural waterways and harbours.

A system of charges linked to the amount of impervious surface in a development would improve environmental outcomes by modifying the behaviour of developers to consider run-off issues, and providing funding to improve stormwater infrastructure.

The stormwater proposal is one of the key findings and recommendations of the review currently being considered by the region’s councils.

The review also recommends:

- Councils should work co-operatively in operational, policy and planning areas in order to achieve better outcomes - environmental, social and economic - for councils, ratepayers, and the general public;

- Setting up a new body - the Auckland Water Office - to monitor the industry and function as an independent watchdog on industry issues, such as pricing policies and consumer protection. Funded by the councils and established for an initial 12 month trial period, the Auckland Water Office would facilitate closer relationships and co-operation between the industry operators and councils. It would also provide expert information and technical support to bodies such as the Watercare Services Ltd’s Shareholder Representative Group;

- Putting in place a better mechanism to ensure Maori have input on the management of water-industry issues. At present, iwi are involved on a council-by-council basis, and the review recommends that a more efficient region-wide approach be taken.

Once the councils have considered the review findings at meetings and workshops over the next month, they will decide how best to implement the recommendations.

This may include formulating a Heads of Agreement regarding the establishment of the Auckland Water Office, and advancing any other action points the councils wish to proceed with. A further Heads of Agreement may be entered into between councils and Iwi to establish a mutually beneficial framework for Iwi involvement in the industry.

About the review

The councils - Rodney District, North Shore City, Waitakere City, Auckland City, Manukau City and Papakura District - set up the Auckland Region Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Review in late 1999 to examine long-term water industry issues.

The review has been undertaken by a steering group of officers from each council, technical consultants and iwi representatives, along with a political sounding board of councillors from around the region.

In addition to the possible impervious surface charges, review issues included:

- Whether or not to amalgamate existing operators into a single regional council-controlled body handling all aspects of the water industry;

- Whether an independent industry regulator is required;

- How best to improve collaboration between council-owned water and wastewater operators, particularly with regard to planning capital and operational expenditure;

- Establishing a uniform regional policy for user charges;

- How best to ensure iwi involvement in industry issues;

Public consultation on water-industry issues was undertaken last year, after which initial findings were circulated and discussed in council workshops in March and April this year. Councillors, officers, iwi representatives and industry operators then held a regional workshop in April.

During the earlier council workshops it became clear that not all of the councils would support the option of amalgamating existing industry operators, such as Watercare Services and the individual council owned operators, into a single region-wide entity. However, individual councils may investigate amalgamations or other kinds of formal co-operation on a sub-regional basis.

The review’s findings and draft framework for future action arising out of this process are now to be discussed in detail by each council over the next month.

The steering group’s report: Auckland Region Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Review: Findings and Recommendations to Councils (March 2002), can be accessed along with other background information about the water industry review process at the review’s website - www.aucklandwaterreview.co.nz.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election