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Combined Wellington water proposal springs forth

Combined Wellington water proposal springs forth

A more unified approach to the delivery of urban Wellington’s water services is agreed, following the Wellington City Council decision today for the Greater Wellington Regional Council to join Capacity Infrastructure Services.

The Wellington City Council, Porirua, Hutt City, Upper Hutt and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have ratified the proposal, which also establishes the Wellington Water Committee. The expanded publicly-owned company will streamline future operations and bring significant engineering expertise together.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the new body creates a vertically integrated entity providing water services ‘from source to tap’.

“The new structure represents a comprehensive, cohesive and simplified approach to water for the Wellington urban area,” says the Mayor. “The new organisation will manage water from the moment it is collected into our public supply stream, through to its eventual return to the natural environment.

“We want to work more closely with local government across the Wellington region, save costs for ratepayers and provide better service. This new structure for the management of water supply, stormwater and sewerage helps achieve that.”

The Council also appointed its representative on the new committee: Cr Iona Pannett, Chair of the Environment Committee, and Cr Sarah Free as the alternate.

“My commitment to the public ownership of water is absolute,” says Cr Pannett. “The public, through Council, will retain ownership of the water, the assets and the policy. We will uphold this Council’s policy of no water metres.”

The following will stay the same:
· WCC (and the other councils) will continue to own all their existing water assets and asset data.
· Each council will still consult with its community and determine matters of policy and levels of service for these services.
· Each council will continue to determine investment levels, priorities and the consequent cost of providing these services.
· Each council (except GWRC) will still recover the cost of water services by rates using whatever formula it sees as appropriate (i.e. pricing will not be set by the company). GWRC will still recover the cost of the bulk water network as determined by the Wellington Regional Water Board Act 1972.
· The company will remain a CCTO owned exclusively by the five Wellington local authorities. This will ensure continuing public ownership of this core service.

Ends

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