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

 


Wellington water amalgamation proposal backed

21 May 2014

Wellington water amalgamation proposal backed

A proposed major amalgamation of the Wellington region’s water, stormwater and wastewater operations is a step closer.

Unanimous endorsement of the proposal for Greater Wellington Regional to join Capacity Infrastructure Services (the water company run by four local councils) was given by the Wellington City Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee today. It will be considered by the other councils over the coming weeks.

Wellington’s Acting Mayor, and the committee’s Chair, Justin Lester, describes today’s vote as “a further step towards real regional cooperation – something that will be good for all Wellingtonians”.

“If this proposal is approved, Wellington’s water customers will deal with one entity from source to tap, allowing for significant cost savings over time and better environmental management.

“Most of the water we drink in central Wellington is pumped almost 50 kilometres from Upper Hutt. Wastewater from Churton Park and Tawa is treated at Titahi Bay in Porirua. In other words, local boundaries are relatively meaningless when it comes to water,” says Cr Lester.

Greater Wellington Regional Council is currently responsible for the bulk supply and treatment of water to Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Porirua and Wellington. The councils in the four cities are currently responsible (via Capacity) for the local distribution of the water – and also for dealing with wastewater and stormwater.

Capacity was established in 2003 by the Wellington and Hutt City councils as a means of cutting costs and improving efficiency in the area of water infrastructure. In recent years Porirua and Upper Hutt have also signed up to Capacity as shareholding councils.

Cr Iona Pannett, chair of the Environment Committee that oversees water issues, says that if the proposal for Greater Wellington Regional Council to join Capacity is approved, the organisation would be overseen by a joint oversight committee of elected members – one each from the five participating councils.

“The public should be reassured that water will remain in public hands. The shareholder councils would also continue to retain ownership of their water assets and infrastructure and continue to make funding and policy decisions.

“This proposed amalgamation fits with the Wellington Regional Mayoral Forum's commitment to encouraging more collaboration and shared services between local authorities,” she says.

The meeting also approved a proposal that Capacity be renamed ‘Wellington Public Water Services Ltd’ or similar. Cr Lester says the name ‘Capacity’ has not caught on with the Wellington public. “It’s a vague and confusing title.”

He adds that the proposed new name also sends a strong message to any people concerned that the reorganisation is a step towards the privatisation of water in the region that it is not on the agenda.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news