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

 

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news