Shock support for water plans

Kāpiti’s long term water supply decision was made last night ending a grueling five hour Council meeting.

Council staff’s recommended option of river recharge funded through volumetric charging with water meters, was voted in 7 to 4 including shock support from Mayor Ross Church and Waikanae Ward councillor Tony Lloyd who had previously been anti water meters. The three other votes during the meeting were on recommendations by Crs Elliott, Scott and Welsh.

Councillor Elliott says the KCDC press release today is incorrect, as no one considered staffs’ other three options on the agenda worthy of moving forward.

The four who opposed in the final vote, Crs Elliott, Gurunathan, Scott and Welsh were all Mayoral candidates whose collective support during the last election far outnumbered voting support for the Mayor.

“Judging by last night’s performance, if the election was this morning, there are doubts Mr Church would be mayor by dinner time and Cr Lloyd who won by 4 votes would almost certainly be ousted in Waikanae.

“While widely criticising Mayor Rowan’s, reverse decision on water meters, Mr Church has beaten Rowan to the end of a slippery slide with his sudden support for water meters and complete backdown of his election headlines to ‘build the dam ‘ confirmed just six weeks after being elected Mayor.”

Crs Elliott and Scott’s recommendation made back to back at the start of discussion, requested council defer the final decision until the meeting in March 2014 due to a complete lack of any opportunity over the past six weeks for the new Council to discuss the water supply options.

“Councillors also requested reports back from staff on updated leak detection figures as savings may have already brought us to close to the target consumption level, and reduced usage will result in a higher than projected price per unit of consumed water.”

They requested a report back on Council’s acceptance of the CRAG report in March 2011 and why it did not trigger KCDC’s policy of significance.

Cr Elliott says most urgently Councillors had expected a report back from lawyers Simpson and Greirson, clarifying exactly which votes on water supply at the table were subject to a 5/6 majority vote and which were subject to the newly required 9/2 majority, which would give any three members at the table powers to outvote the other eight. “Legal clarification was promised four days earlier and still didn’t arrive before this crucial meeting.”

“After five hours, Councillors requests to defer the decision until staff had provided reports on these issues, and time to consider them we’re made a dozen times and were ignored,” said Cr Elliott.