Council prioritises Chinese Garden and Cycleway over Hospital Water Supply

Capital and Coast DHB Board Member and Porirua Mayor, Nick Leggett and Southern Ward Councillor, Paul Eagle, have highlighted a bizarre decision by Council to refuse to fund the emergency water reservoir that serves the Hospital.

WCC have obviously missed all those warnings we grew up with that it is a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Wellington is pummeled by an enormous earthquake. So by most peoples judgement, a decent emergency water supply to the Hospital might be something worth investing in… particularly given water is a Council responsibility.

Civil Defence estimate it could take as long as 50 days to get the water supply back on in Wellington after a quake and the Hospital is left with a maximum of 5 days worth currently. For some reason, WCC have decided that it doesn’t want to fund the vital extra reservoir as it has higher priorities than emergency water supplies for the Hospital.

The Council chief asset manager Anthony Wilson, said – “It’s not a local government responsibility to supply emergency water to the hospital.” Instead Council wants taxpayers to cover the cost – even though it is a council responsibility in every single other major centre.

As Leggett said: “Nowhere else in the country has a local authority held such an essential project hostage, pending funding from district health boards whose budgets are already stretched to breaking point.

The Mayor says there are other priorities that are more important in the near term. It is worth remembering what the Council has prioritised over emergency water supplies for the Hospital under Celia Wade-Brown’s leadership:

  • The shambolic Mayoral bedroom-to-boardroom Island Bay cycleway
  • The Chinese Garden at Frank Kitts Park – a cool $6million on a Mayoral zen tea house and some sweet water features.
  • A shitload of too-cool-for-school, hipster pleasing, painted alleyways and laneways that might fool suburban types into thinking they’re in Melbourne.
  • Shrubs and paving for Victoria Street.
  • Oh and untold legal costs for the up and coming Wade-Brown vs Lavery Living Wage debate when it hits Court.

Leggett and Eagle want Council to get its priorities right, saying the city needs to front up and pay for it.

Eagle planned to submit the project for inclusion in the council’s 2016-17 Annual Plan.

“The planned new reservoir would greatly improve resilience in the face of natural disaster,” he said. “Without it, we risk facing catastrophic consequences, especially for residents in the CBD and the city’s southern and eastern suburbs.”

You have to wonder how on earth a council could be so dumb. Hopefully the tremors will hold off until this is sorted, huh.



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