Now’s here a very ironic juxtaposition of messages that illustrates precisely why the Government is going to strip our local councils of their responsibility for managing the delivery of our local water services.
On the right, you see a Wednesday advertisement in HB Today from “Three Waters”, headlined (admonishing?) IMAGINE AOTEAROA WITHOUT GOOD WATER”. The ad was placed by the NZ Government.
Basically the ad says (I paraphrase), ‘You’re not getting the safe, clean water you deserve, so we’ve got a plan.’ Now I quote: “’cos we’re water’s biggest fan”.
No other content is provided, although the sponsor’s website is noted: Threewaters.govt.nz
I can assure you, every councillor in Hawke’s Bay knows exactly what is being announced in this ad.
“You screwed up your water infrastructure – drinking water, stormwater, wastewater – so we’re (Government) coming to take it over!”
Now read the short news item on the left side, and you’ll know why.
That item is headlined: “Water disruptions as council checks out pipe”.
Another Napier water systems failure … this time a broken wastewater pipe on Kennedy Road.
Once again Napier residents are told: Don’t flush. Don’t use dishwashers or washing machines. Don’t empty baths.
Who does the Napier ratepayer hold accountable for this? Anyone? And how? It’s a legacy issue … the current mayor, CEO and councillors didn’t cause the problem.
And this happens throughout Hawke’s Bay … I just pick on NCC because it seems to happen there the most. And because it’s all the more ironic because previous NCC regimes always boasted loudly they had all this asset management ‘stuff’ totally covered, with no debt to boot!
Well, the waterwheel turns!