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Water meters: Kapiti votes to ask public

Last updated 17:33 05/04/2012



Kapiti District Council will make a final decision on user-pay water charges in June.

JOHN HAWKINS/The Southland Times

Kapiti Coast District Council has voted unanimously to start public consultation on a charging regime for water meters as opponents continue to battle for a ratepayers referendum.

The regime is based on a 50 per cent fixed charge and 50 per cent variable charge based on water use, described by mayor Jenny Rowan as fair and affordable, providing a stable revenue  to cover the cost of running the water supply system.

Ms Rowan said the charging regime was fundamental to the debate about water meters. 

"Last year Council adopted water meters in principle but made it clear that a final decision would not be made until a charging regime and its effects had been put before residents for comment. That moment has come."

Information on the charging formula and the relative impact on households and businesses will be sent to all households in the district, and there will be a random survey of at least 1,000 households.

Four members of the public opposing water meters called for a referendum on the issue during public speaking time at today's meeting.


Jackie Elliot, who organised a 7662-signature petition last year calling for a ratepayer referendum on the issue, said the reason petition signatories wanted a referendum was because ''we simply no longer trust this council's attitude to the submission and consultation process.

''Stop rushing to push the introduction of water meters through before the results of [local body] amalgamation plans are clear. Stop pushing the cost of living here out of reach for future Kapiti Coasters,'' Mrs Elliot said.

When councillors rejected calls for a referendum, councillor K. Gurunathan cast a dissenting vote.

Kapiti regional councillor Nigel Wilson told the meeting water meters would not be needed if Kapiti was part of a supercity as the district could be connected to the regional water supply.

Ms Rowan said the district needed a stand-alone supply, irrespective of any future governance changes.

Council chief executive Pat Dougherty said a connection to the regional bulk water supply system had been investigated as one of 41 supply options but did not make the short list because of costs and timing.

The cost is estimated to be about $27 million.

Waikanae community board chairman Michael Scott said residents who had been "sold" on water meters would be shocked at the proposed charging regime as they had first been led to believe they would not be charged for using less than 400 cubic metres per day.

A final decision on metering will be made in June with district-wide installation expected to take about 15 months.

- The Dominion Post

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Jeremy   #11   05:45 pm Apr 06 2012

Have any of you anti meter people ever looked at a rates bill? It doesn't say which part pays for water but a large portion does. If you look at the break down of where your rates go around 50% of it goes to water, waste water and other various water treatment costs. The way meter charges should work is that you only pay for what you use. If a cubic metre costs $2 then your monthly bill should only be $2. THIS IS NOT WHAT IS PROPOSED. Instead there will be flat rate of $50 and if you use cubic metre at $2 per cublic metre you pay $52.

That is what you should be complaining about. The large users will pay less per use because of the flat base rate.

George   #10   12:43 pm Apr 06 2012

Do they REALLY think the vote is going to be YES? Just more money spent on a completely useless exercise so they can say they"consulted"

Seddie   #9   10:49 am Apr 06 2012

Dave #no8 what part of the kapiti coast do you live on as the price is $327 per house hold and with this load of B/S by the KCDC so to be $514 also the mayor in her wisdom so she thinks said that we the ratepayers cant understand the question in a yes or no answer Yea Right. I for one know the answer vote the whole lot OUT this time and make shore the ones you vote for sign a promise note for to revoke this C--P

Dave B   #8   06:59 am Apr 06 2012

Another council "cash cow" in the making. Kapiti water rates are already $230 per year and the prospective pricing has been set at $250 per year plus $1.07 per cubic meter. As for a minimum allowance, we had that in Nelson when water meters were installed there but the council wasn't making enough money so the minimum allowable ltr amount got reduced and the base price over doubled in five years. Funny how user pays in water meter cases means private user pays as councils also pander to business users and supply them discount water rates. We in Kapiti know installing water meters won't cost $8 million, the council has already proved it cant be trusted with budgets. More like $12-$15 million that the water meters will be used to recover. $12-$15 million that fixed income rate payers can ill afford.

kiwikevnz   #7   12:59 am Apr 06 2012

while referendum is a nice idea you'll usually find if its going to cost someone money the answer will be no, i wouldnt be averse to water meters if the water was really cheap and to cover costs only, its when they want to make a profit to cover other pet projects i object.

Dave   #6   10:47 pm Apr 05 2012

How ridiculous that the council would again go against the wishes of the people and push ahead with this knowing that they will all be out of a job come the amalgamation. Bring on the supercity now, save the huge salary rise for the CEO and get shot of the lot of them!!

BigCol   #5   09:41 pm Apr 05 2012

Water meters are a distraction. The REAL issue is the motorway and the eviction from their homes of good, honest, hard working Kiwi families that will result.

me   #4   08:50 pm Apr 05 2012

just another way to top up there wages.

Dave   #3   07:42 pm Apr 05 2012

I'm trying to picture what 400 cubic metres of water would look like.....

frenchie   #2   07:22 pm Apr 05 2012

ha ha ha ha ha consultation!!! what ever they have costings already what a crock

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