Mayor forgot water pact: councillor

By Lawrence Gullery

Hawke's Bay regional councillor Christine Scott has returned fire at Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule after he struggled to understand why his ratepayers should fork out millions of dollars to upgrade the public water supply.

The regional council, as the environmental regulator, wants Hastings to stop taking water from the Brookvale bore near Havelock North and two others in Flaxmere because the pumps are having an effect on nearby streams.

Mr Yule was critical of the money needed to swap over to other pumping stations, which would also require an upgrade to its water network, when the topic was raised at a Hastings council meeting this week.

He wanted the regional council to explain why the changes were needed, when there was a view there was "plenty of water" for everyone.

Cr Scott raised the matter again at the regional council's environmental and services committee meeting on Wednesday.

She said she was surprised and disappointed to read Mr Yule comments in Hawke's Bay Today, asking for a "please explain" from the regional council.

Cr Scott suggested Mr Yule had forgotten about a 2008 hearing at which his council was granted a 10-year permit to keep taking water from Brookvale but at the end of the term must swap over to a new water source.

"I was on the regional council hearings panel for that one, as was councillor Ewan McGregor and ecologist technician Dr Greg Rider."

Cr Scott said Ngati Kahungunu Iwi had opposed the Hastings council's wish to keep taking water from Brookvale because of its impact on the Mangateretere Stream.

The iwi organisation withdrew its submission after coming to an agreement with the Hastings council that it would stop using Brookvale as a primary water source and look for an alternative.

In documents filed with the hearing, the Hastings council indicated it would finish using Brookvale but would need 10 years to switch over to a new source.

"The consent was granted by the regional council in August, 2008," Cr Scott said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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