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One Chance to ‘Get Water Right’

One Chance to ‘Get Water Right’

NZWWA CEO calls for full public debate

The Government has a once only opportunity to ‘get water right’ as it considers policy options for the allocation and pricing of New Zealand’s most valuable resource, says New Zealand Water and Wastes Association CEO, Simon Carlaw.

Speaking prior to the Government announcing its policy intentions in this area (editors note announcement due April 10) Mr Carlaw said there were clear shortcomings in strategies and regulation of other critical infrastructure in New Zealand.

“But water is simply too important to get it wrong. We welcome the Government’s decision to make public its recent Cabinet discussions on these most important issues,” said Mr Carlaw.

“We also hope that any decisions on broad policies in this area deal squarely and effectively with water allocation and pricing. Recent and current experience with the Waitaki and the Waikato Rivers tell us that the machinery we have is not adequate for the present let alone the future.”

Mr Carlaw said it was critical there was adequate opportunity for rigorous public debate on issues relating to water simply because they impacted on all New Zealanders.

“It is therefore imperative all the issues and options are put on the table for proper consideration. Any ruled out must be identified together with the reasons why the Government has done so.

“It is likely to be a long time before they are reconsidered in any fundamental way at a government level,” he said.

The New Zealand Water and Wastes Association was established in 1958. It is the largest representative organisation covering the water industry and water environment.

ENDS

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