Minister formally requests water information from councils

The Minister of Local Government Simeon Brown has written to Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau and Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy to formally request further information on how these councils are addressing water leakage and water shortage issues.

“The Wellington region is currently in the midst of water restrictions which may have to escalate as summer continues. Water regulator Taumata Arowai is actively preparing to exercise its powers in the event that a water emergency occurs.

“As Minister of Local Government, I wrote to the Chair of the Wellington Water Committee to ask what actions shareholder councils are taking to reduce the possible water shortage. This included asking how councils were actively considering how to fix leakage issues, increasing supply, and how the short-and medium-term activity will be funded. 

“Both mayors failed to respond to the Chair of the Wellington Water Committee’s request for this information by the 17 January 2024 deadline. This information was needed for the Chair’s response to me.

“With the exception of Wellington City and Upper Hutt City, the other councils in the Wellington region were able to provide the requested information which summarised their work programmes and steps they had taken.

“I am disappointed that Wellington City and Upper Hutt City failed to provide Wellington Water with the required information. Therefore, I have now used my powers under the Local Government Act to formally request information that those councils are taking their obligations to residents and ratepayers seriously, and are implementing all mitigations necessary to avoid cuts or limits on water supplies.”