An article on the KC News website by Cr Elliott is here. As stated in a previous post, this was the main reason for the Rowan & Dougherty water meters. Having them in place paves the way for privatization further down the track.
The obstacle to that so far has been Section 130 of the Local Government Act: “Obligation to maintain water services“. No doubt, Dougherty asked his Simpson Grierson lawyers to advise on ways to get around what is clearly stated in subsection 3(b) “not divest its ownership or other interest in a water service except to another local government organisation”. The neighbouring Horowhenua District Council answer on this subject is transfer council assets to a trust, nominally controlled by the council, but in practice not.
The major obstacle, however, would be the uproar that would result from Kapiti people. We can’t imagine the residents of any other local council area feeling any different.
“The Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced it is now going to be Government policy to set up Central Government management and control of all the three waters supply and systems including drinking water, nationwide. Means one thing to me, Privatisation. I am sorry to say ‘I told you so,’ but I did, six years ago when water meters were installed.
“The new system is largely based on the Water control authorities at work in England, Ireland and Scotland,” said the Minister, looking remarkably breezy despite having travelled half way around the planet the previous evening, home from her fact finding tour. Mayor for Christchurch Lianne Dalziel hit the nail on the head when she stood up and asked the Minister why she hadn’t also looked at the Finnish models for sustainable and affordable Water Supply options.”