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Hastings council welcomes Government’s Three Waters review

The Government’s Three Waters Review is being welcomed by the Hastings District Council, which is well on its way to achieving many of the review’s aims already.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta led the multi-agency review that investigated the state and performance of New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

The review was established by the Government following the Havelock North water inquiry to look at the challenges facing the three waters system and how to make improvements.

Among the major outcomes sought were safe, acceptable and reliable drinking water, better environmental performance of water services, and efficient, sustainable and resilient water services – at an affordable cost for communities.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the proposed reform highlighted that there was a real opportunity to deliver the three waters more efficiently to the community.

“This reform is seeking greater transparency in the operation of delivering three waters. It will bring about better regulation and monitoring of our resources, at the same time as protecting consumers’ long-term interests in the most cost-effective way possible.”

Across Hawke’s Bay, the region’s leaders were already considering reviewing the three waters and how the region could work together to deliver these services.

Hastings was part of the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Joint Governance group and had been working with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on its plan change process to manage risks to drinking water sources.

“We look forward to sharing this area of work with the government.”

In the Hastings district, the council had made significant progress in its commitment to deliver safe drinking water to meet international standards and guidance, Mrs Hazlehurst said.

The upgraded bore and new treatment plant at Wilson Rd had been completed and the upgrade of water delivery and treatment for all registered small urban and rural communities was well advanced.

“We haven’t waited for reform, we have already moved to improve and safeguard this resource for our community,” Mrs Hazlehurst said.

She said all three waters were core council services provided to the community that were essential for community health and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability.

“The suggested regulatory changes will drive better practice around drinking water, stormwater and wastewater – essentially putting more safeguards and efficiency into water delivery from the source to consumers’ taps, and then safely back to the environment.”

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