Feb 2020 – Water problems are a city emergency

The water infrastructure problems in Wellington are escalating. Until now we have been dealing with matters on a case by case basis. But real systemic issues are coming to the fore – too many issues to manage in our normal reporting and accountability structure. Time has come for this to be treated as a civil emergency. It has to be the #1 issue for the Council to deal with.

Within my ward, the Karori Residents Association have been campaigning for water pollution signs to be placed at the Karori Stream. The three agencies involved – WCC, GWRC and Wgtn Water – have been reluctant to do so. We now find out that most waterways in our city have similar pollution.

Having dependable water infrastructure is a core Council service. When we don’t have it, it impacts on our community, economy and the reputation/brand of our city.

As one of your local councillors, I am working with my colleagues to ensure that the matter is dealt with appropriately.

This means that in the first instance we need to deal with immediate problems, take key responsibility and get proactive communications going. In the medium/long term we need to get real action on improvements that people can see, address our community concerns and make sure we have planned sufficiently for our future including allocating funding.

This will undoubtedly impact rates unless other funding sources can be found.

The Council is meeting this week on the above. I will keep you informed on developments.

Postscript – Since the Water infrastructure issues have come to light, the CEO has instigated a review and the Mayor has established a taskforce to ensure all issues are identified and there are robust plans for the future