The Wellington Water Committee met today (MONDAY 19 JULY), following the government’s latest announcements on three waters reform.
Newly appointed chair Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry said the meeting was positive and established a refreshed, more accessible, way of working.
“What has got us to this point, will not serve us for the future. The Committee must now act boldly and transparently as we face up to the significant water issues in our region,” he said.
“As a start, we will livestream all meetings to make them more accessible to the public so that we can have more engaging conversations with the people we serve across the region.”
“Ultimately, we want to be open and honest with the public about the state of our infrastructure and what is necessary to tackle the challenges we face.”
Mayor Barry reiterated the urgent need for investment in the region’s infrastructure and the importance of councils working together to achieve a common goal.
“Our region is facing a trifecta of water issues to work through,” he said.
“We have ageing infrastructure, significant population growth and decades of historic underinvestment. The only way we can solve these issues is to do this work collectively.”
Members also discussed the importance of investing specifically in the long-term future of the region’s water infrastructure alongside central government’s three waters reforms.
“Even with the increased level of investment from councils, the challenges of old infrastructure remain and increasing failures and service interruptions will continue to have an impact on people’s daily lives,” said Mayor Barry.
“As the conversation on reform progresses, it’s important that Wellington Water has a strong voice at the table. It’s equally important that we mitigate any risk of work slowing down as can happen during uncertain times.”
“That’s why we’re focusing on long term solutions regardless of what might lie ahead. This means building new assets and increase our capability in water infrastructure management to meet the growing population in our region.
The Water Committee, discussed and reviewed:
- A verbal update on the water reform.
- Wellington Water’s approach to regulation
- Wellington Water’s Service Deliver Strategy
- Wellington Water’s water services investment
- Wellington Water is owned by Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington city councils, South Wairarapa District Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
- A representative from each authority sits on the Wellington Water Committee that provides overall leadership and direction for the company.