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Water problems are civil emergency – city councillor

by Diane Calvert
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.

The Karori Residents Association have 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.

[This is an edited version of comments first published on Cr Calvert’s Facebook page.]

10 comments:

  1. michael, 17. February 2020, 17:50

    Diane, there is an limit as to how much more Wellington ratepayers can be expected to pay before many of us will have to consider moving out of the city. We are not a bottomless pit! For years now, councillors have ignored the basics and now we are expected to pay for this neglect. If you are looking for a decent source of funding, the $200million for a “might be nice to have” convention centre would be a good start.

     
  2. TrevorH, 17. February 2020, 19:18

    Yes it is an emergency Diane and the Council’s budget and ten year plan have to be re-prioritized to respond to it. So no convention centre nor film museum nor any other fripperies. This is serious.

     
  3. Ms motionless, 17. February 2020, 20:13

    This is just waffle and it makes me mad. What is the “normal Reporting and accountability structure”? Does no one check the pipes regularly?

     
  4. Guntao Stem, 17. February 2020, 20:21

    Well said Michael! We need some experienced engineers on the Council who understand the basics. I strongly suggest to the likes of Dianne Culvert that signage is not the priority but the integrity of the water and sewage pipes!

     
  5. TrevorH, 17. February 2020, 20:32

    @michael. I absolutely agree Council waste and self-aggrandizing cannot continue. Wellington is at a tipping point.

     
  6. Northland, 17. February 2020, 21:51

    “This will undoubtedly impact rates unless other funding sources can be found”. Well, what that actually means is that, even with an operational expenditure of $557 million in 2019/2020 (up from $368 million in 2011/2012), the Council complains it still does not have enough money to maintain the pipes! Where is the money going?

     
  7. Henry Filth, 17. February 2020, 23:43

    “This means that in the first instance we need to deal with immediate problems, take key responsibility and get proactive communications going.”

    Errrrrmm, can someone help me with this? What does it mean? Serious question.

     
  8. Justin, 18. February 2020, 10:25

    Quite simply – poor long term maintenance planning.

     
  9. Hel, 18. February 2020, 20:32

    “Too many problems to manage for our normal reporting and accountability structure” surely this is code for haven’t got a clue as to what is going on and haven’t been monitoring Wellington Water.

     
  10. Kara, 19. February 2020, 13:01

    If WCC could forget the convention centre and film museum then there might be just enough funds to put towards basic infrastructure such as water pipes.