Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has thanked the chairperson of
Watercare, Margaret Devlin, for her quick response to three
matters he raised with her last week.
To help keep
water costs down for Aucklanders, Mr Brown asked Watercare
to cease all work on the Government’s Three Waters
programme, and sought assurances about head office costs and
the Central Interceptor project.
Ms Devlin has assured
the mayor that costs associated with the Three Waters
proposal are being met by central government. The mayor
plans to raise wider issues around the Three Waters proposal
with Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta when he and
senior council officers meet with her tomorrow.
Delvin confirmed her board and management share the
mayor’s concerns around cost-of-living pressures on
Aucklanders and that Watercare is keeping costs at minimum
levels, as required by law.
“To deliver sustainable
efficiency,” she wrote, “[Watercare is] reviewing what
we do and how we do it, to ensure we will provide the agreed
level of service to Aucklanders over the long term, while
reducing our controllable costs.”
On the Central
Interceptor, Ms Devlin assured the mayor that the
project’s financial performance remains on track despite
the timeline being shifted out to June 2026 due to the
impact of Covid-19.
She wrote that a further update
would be provided to council next week and that she would
advise the mayor directly if there are any further changes
to the delivery of the project.
“I am very grateful
for the assurances that Watercare has given me on these
matters,” the mayor said. “As Aucklanders sail towards
an economic and fiscal storm that will see home mortgage
rates triple, the council and its agencies must do
everything to keep rates, water charges and other costs
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