Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau disputes a claim from Local Government Minister Simeon Brown that the council didn’t meet Wellington Water’s deadline for information on time.
Minister Simeon Brown told 1News he was “incredibly disappointed” in Wellington and Upper Hutt councils for failing to provide information on how they were dealing with water leakage and shortage issues in the capital.
“I expect those councils to provide that information to demonstrate what they’re doing to fix this problem,” he said.
“This is a serious issue for Wellington with the prospect of a water emergency being declared.”
But Wellington mayor Tory Whanau said there had been a “misunderstanding.”
“It was our understanding to provide a specific set of information to the chair, we did that, clearly that wasn’t up to the Minister’s expectations,” said Mayor Whanau.
“He is, I suppose, allowed to be disappointed, he has a very heavy workload this term, and I can’t imagine water reform is going to be very easy or our water infrastructure. He just really wants that information and so, he sent us a formal request and we’re getting right on it,” she said.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy did not respond to 1 News’ requests for comment.
Earlier this week, most of the Wellington region moved to level 2 water restrictions.
Due to NIWA’s slightly improved climate outlook, the chance of moving to level 3 before the end of January is now estimated at 60%.
Porirua mayor Anita Baker said the demand for water storage tanks is currently outstripping supply.
“We’re getting 100 calls a week for people wanting tanks, and we can only supply 90 a week,” she said.
“I take a lot of pride in my lawn, and it’s going to die off because of this,” said Porirua resident John Spence.
“All of a sudden now when it’s pretty much as bad as it can get, everyone suddenly starts paying attention, whereas they should’ve been paying attention over the last 20-30 years.”