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Central Hawke's Bay Gets Behind Local Government Water Declaration

To be released 25 October 2017

Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker has today added her signature to the Local Government Leaders’ Water Declaration, which reiterates the sector’s commitment to water quality and calls for greater action from central government.

Water is a key issue for New Zealanders. Lifting the quality of freshwater resources and improving our drinking, waste and stormwater will require a huge effort and the Water Declaration is local government’s commitment to playing its part in achieving these goals. It follows a climate change declaration launched in July and recognises the interlinked nature of what are two major issues for New Zealand.

Councils around the country are at the forefront of water management and protection. This includes the delivery of drinking water, the removal of waste water and storm water, and the management of water quality and quantity.

For Central Hawke’s Bay, water management and protection is the biggest challenge facing the Council and will form the basis of the Draft Long Term Plan 2018-2028 which Council is getting ready to engage with the community on.

Mayor Alex Walker says there have been a lot of positive steps taken in recent years to improve the quality of our water but we need to do more.

“As part of Thrive the loudest message we heard was about the importance of water to the vitality of our community. Council has identified the need to make a significant investment in wastewater, drinking water and stormwater over the next 10 years, and have been working hard on how to implement this through the upcoming Long-Term-Plan budgets.”

“Declaring my commitment to water quality times well with the launch of #thebigwaterstory campaign in Central Hawke’s Bay. This campaign is about the investment Council needs to make in improving water quality and access across our district, and at what pace that investment should be. It also reaffirms my recent requests to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to delay the implementation of minimum river flow measures in Plan Change 6 – we need time to focus on water quality improvements first, along with sensible investment options for improving water flows in the future.”

The Declaration outlines a number of local government commitments. These include:

  • improving the water in our regions with, and for, our people and future generations;
  • ensuring that those people who have the privilege of using our water do so responsibly; and
  • working with our communities so that the costs and priorities for investment in infrastructure to provide a secure supply of water and maintain and improve water quality are clearly understood.

The Declaration also outlines key steps for the new Government, including by:

  • recognising the interlinked nature of all water, whether natural rivers, lakes, streams or groundwater and drinking water, stormwater or wastewater, and reflect this in coherent, integrated water policy;
  • acknowledging the impact climate change will have on our water resources and developing policy options to address these; and
  • working with local government on a plan to meet these costs and develop new tools for funding and financing infrastructure.

Ends
Authorised by Chief Executive: Monique Davidson

Media contact
Monique Davidson, Chief Executive | P 06 857 8060 M 027 601 1711

26 October 2017

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