Water Meter Inquiry Sought

Government asked to investigate KCDC

Local Government Minister David Carter is being asked to rule whether the Kapiti Coast District Council has ‘breached its responsibilities to its ratepayers by bulldozing through a controversial decision to install water meters in Kapiti.’

Former regional councillor Chris Turver  has written to the Minister saying the Council has acted undemocratically and breached the purpose of Local Government Act to enable democratic local decision-making.He says the Council ignored the largest petition ever held in Kapiti when 8,000 ratepayers protested against water meters, ignored its own recent ratepayer survey which showed a majority opposed water meters and wanted a dam, and ignored a record 2423 long term plan submissions, most opposed to water meters.

Citizens told ‘meters not on agenda’

Mr Turver says sitting behind all this is an undertaking before the last local election by all candidates, including the Mayor, that water meters were not on the agenda and then breaking that promise just four months later, announcing they wanted them.

“The greatest con job is that the Council claims it needs water meters to reduce consumption by 25 percent – yet it admits losing more than 25 percent of all its treated water through its cracked supply pipes and doing little to fix them,” he says.

“Public consultation has been a farce, culminating in the disclosure last week that the Council had already gone out to tender for 11,000 meters and 7,800 manifolds before the consultation process had been completed or the Council had made a decision.

While a section providing for “community views in relation to decisions” was repealed in the 2010 Amendment Act there was no intention that local authorities should ride roughshod over their electors.

Should Council be reined in?

Mr Turver adds: “The Minister could reasonably consider whether Kapiti Coast District Council, which is already in trouble with its ratepayers over a range of issues, should be allowed to continue its role unchecked.

“Within the space of the last three months it’s been disclosed the Council has overspent major project budgets by $10 million, given its chief executive a $44,000 pay rise, and has scandalised ratepayers by totally rebuilding its council chambers.”

Mr Turver is also sending his letter to the Local Government Commission which is responsible under the Act for “promoting good practice relating to a local authority.”…Read letter on Letter Page



Further Information:                  Chris Turver           06-3643640 or 027-2301601


Our Mayor was once reported in our local paper as saying- “We need to plan for possible sea level rise of 2 metres!” That concern seems to have departed.
If she was, and is still, so concerned ( or was she merely scaremongering?) then KCDC’s proposed river re-charge scheme would be abandoned now in favour of a dam.
The scientific community is now discussing recent reports that a large percentage of recent and expected future sea level rise is because of depletion of ground aquifers- the pumping out of these faster than natural replenishment is lowering ground reserves and contributing to sea rise!
Surprising? Unbelievable? But it is an effect being seriously researched. Millions of pumps around the world are depleting ground aquifers to an extent where there is growing concern over depletion, and now the effect on sea level rise is being recognised.
It seems ridiculous to pump water from our aquifers and send that out to sea, considering that sea level rise- in the order our Mayor imagines- will see salt water penetration into that aquifer at the same time as pumping lowers its relative level. This effect will mean the scheme is not sustainable.
The money being spent on metering, ongoing administration, maintenance, extra staff and account costs, and river re-charge systems should be invested now in a dam. Society needs to invest in sustainable water collection and storage systems.

Our friend Chris Turver is in reality just another politicians on the make, who sees using meters as a way to become Mayor. As to the minister doing anything about things in Kapiti, well you know what politicians are like…