Watercare must remain a CCO

The St Mary’s Bay Association was one of 21 community organisations in the Stop Auckland Sewage Overflows Coalition (SASOC) which submitted to Auckland Council on its review of Council Controlled Organisations.

A key point underlying the submission is that the Auckland Council family must be more responsiveness to community concerns. In SASOC’s experience, historically Watercare’s senior management has been more receptive and responsive to community wishes than council’s senior officers. This is in terms of both listening to concerns and willingness to explore alternatives.

SASOC also submitted that Watercare’s financial planning had been far more transparent than council’s and, until recently (when the targeted water rate was introduced for stormwater) more certain of delivering planned funding than council.

As a member of SASOC, SMBA endorses SASOC’s view that CCO Watercare should continue to control delivery of potable water and the collection of wastewater as a discrete and transparent cost centre (rather than return these functions to Council).

SASOC’s main objective is to improve the wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in the Auckland isthmus so that these waters are released into the environment only after appropriate treatment. Members are all situated in the central Auckland isthmus. SMBA chair David Abbott and Herne Bay Residents’ Association co-chair Dirk Hudig are co-convenors of SASOC.

Note: Currently, Watercare is responsible for wastewater and potable water; Auckland Council is responsible for stormwater capture and discharge.