Council rebuffs water saving suggestion

By: Leanne Willis

In my last Viewpiont (HM June 17), I wrote about the idea of ratepayers being able to install a water tank (or a second tank), upgrade or replace their waterpump and have the cost of this added as a low interest loan to their rates. I still believe it’s a great idea, and one that I received a lot of positive feedback on after Viewpoint was published.

Unfortunately the response back from those in ‘the know’ at council was that council is not in the position of being able to lend money and people would have to ask their bank for a loan.

Many people won’t go to their banks – especially if they are on town supply but wish to install a tank to ‘do their bit’ for the environment by storing rainwater – but would pay extra in their rates if it was offered. My view is that provided the ratepayer is paying at least the same interest rate as the council is, our council wouldn’t be any worse off financially and ultimately it would help ensure the future of our water resources.

Local board member Victoria Short has also been approached by people in the Bays (North Shore) with the same questions, so it’s not only Coasties who are wanting this – it’s ratepayers from all areas in our local board. I fail to see how an idea so simple and so effective could be snuffed out before it is fully explored. I wasn’t asking for the wheel to be reinvented, as this process had all been done years before, when ratepayers were encouraged to have town supply connected.

How long is it going to take, and how low are our water resources going to get before something is done? Why not plan for the future, rather than reach crisis point when it will be too late for all the ‘would have, should have, could have’ ideas?

To me it’s still a no brainer and I find it so frustrating that big issues like this aren’t dealt with in a pragmatic and logical approach. Just a blanket ‘council can’t lend money you’d need to contact your bank’ response is not enough.

On a lighter and more positive note, it’s great that work has started in Moenui Ave by Countdown on the pedestrian crossings, to help reduce speed. A few more changes like this will help ensure the risk of accidents in this very busy area is kept to a minimum.

Finally I would just like to thank all those who are supporting local business. It is heartwarming to visit a local cafe and see it so full. It might be only a cup of coffee for us, but it’s bread and butter for our cafe owners and staff. Keep up the good work!

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