About 50% of Auckland’s water comes from the Hunua’s. Surely the provision of fresh water is a “core service” of local bodies. Sure it may be run by a monopoly body like Watercare, but it is owned, controlled and run as part of the Auckland local bodies services. Now this is rather strange. The select committee’s plans are that these core services become part of the Waikato and regulated by that council.
What the hell? All it would take is a change to the district plan in Waikato and Auckland has to get all of the water from drinking the sewage of Hamilton from the pipeline to the Waikato river. There must be a rationale for this separation, which also leaves major regional parks as well as the dams outside of Auckland’s control.
Looking back to a Herald report from when the Royal Commission report was released.
In its report, the commission accepted the validity of Kaiaua residents’ submissions that the Hunua Ranges separated them from Auckland and they looked to the south for shopping and education.
So this dramatic change to the control of water for Auckland has been done because of shopping? It seems to me that these comments reflect my puzzlement.
ARC parks and heritage committee chairwoman Sandra Coney said yesterday there was no logic to severing part of Auckland’s essential water infrastructure and passing the ARC’s experience managing regional parks to a council with no experience.
“It’s a completely unnecessary complication,” she said.
“It just looks like a line was drawn on a map without realising the complications it would cause.”
Sandra Coney said Aucklanders’ investment and recreational use of the water catchment and regional park facilities in the Hunua Ranges outweighed community of interest arguments from Kaiaua residents.
Well this appears to be one of the very few times that the select committee actually listened to submissions – sort of. It looks like they changed it from the Waikato owning these assets to:-
It also proposed the northern and southern edges of the current Auckland region be lopped off, though current regional assets in these areas such as regional parks and the Hunua Dam would still be owned by the new Auckland Council.
And Rodney Hide is predicably:-
Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says he’s comfortable with proposed changes to the new Auckland super council.
What the hell? It doesn’t make any difference. Aucklanders are not going to be in control of their water. I’m not comfortable with that, I can’t think of an Aucklander who would be.
This looks like a screw-up on the political side. Rodney made so many changes to the Royal Commission’s reccomendations that the select committee was loath to change another. But what else do you expect – screwups happen whenever Act and the professional screwup Rodney Hide get involved in anything.