Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Three Waters repeal sees Watercare increase water charges

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Watercare is expected to increase its charges. File image supplied
  • By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter funded by New Zealand on Air

Watercare charges are expected to rise by over 25 percent this July.

At Auckland Council’s Budget Committee on February 20, councillors discussed the consultation material for its 10-year budget called the Long Term Plan.

Cr Chris Darby pointed out that Watercare were raising water and wastewater tariffs by 25.8 percent.

“That is an absolutely considerable number and one that came to us quite recently but it is the product of a post Three Waters environment,” Darby said.

He understood that under Three Waters increases were expected to be around two percent and asked staff for an explanation.

Financial Strategy and Planning general manager Ross Tucker said that Watercare was constrained by council’s debt to revenue limit.

“We need for Watercare to be able to deliver a large capex program which the revenue has to match and be consistent with the debt,” Tucker said.

He said the Watercare board did not see reducing capital expenditure as an option because of the demands for water infrastructure.

Darby felt more information on the increased charges would be helpful to include in the Long Term Plan consultation.

Consultation for the Long Term Plan will run for a month and opens on February 28.

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