As an inhabitant of a developed country, I have always taken access to clean water for granted.

And so has the population of Napier for many years. Water came to the foreground when several water bottling plants were being established, something which was sold to the public as a win-win situation, as job creation was the promised gain for Hawke's Bay.

Those who dared opposing the bottle plants were assured that the aquifer contains more supply than will ever be needed, resulting in a fading protest.

Read more: Editorial: Water recommendations need to be made to work
Top recommendations for water woes
Water NZ calls for swift action on inquiry report

Advertisement

We have been told Napier's water supply was secured for years to come, or should we say until last week?

Out of the blue came a water restriction in Napier right at the beginning of summer. Does this mean that worse is yet to come?

Magically, all problems were resolved by the response of the population, very diligently following up the request to reduce the amount of water used.

I presume the water bottling plants also ceased production on Monday? As far as I am aware, Napier's water supply comes from the aquifer.

Is someone going to tell us that this enormous reservoir suddenly ran dry! Or is there something else going on?

There has to be an explanation other than the laughable one that the problem was resolved as a result of civil obedience.

Can a water engineer of NCC inform us how the reservoirs are being filled and how come they could magically be filled up to 80 per cent the day after a water restriction?

If the reservoirs are the storage vessels that are not filled by rainfall I can only assume the water is pumped to them from the aquifer.

Was there an issue with the pumps? A credible explanation would put the population of Napier, which is gradually losing its confidence in the NCC, at rest.

Would NCC at the same time please provide some information on the library?

By now, everyone is aware of the move to the MTG. What happens after that however, remains a big question mark. With the library reducing in size: does that mean that a number of employees will be losing their employment as well?

Is there any serious intention to restore the library to the same size as it was or is this reduction the first step on the path to abolish it?

With the decision to close the library and reducing both its size and function, why haven't the people of Napier been told of the plan to rebuild?

Councils have an obligation to inform citizens on long-term plans - why are we all still in the dark?

It seems that NCC has lost touch with its ratepayers. An artist's impression of what the new hotel on the site of the present council buildings could look like, almost presents it as a done deal.

I would be interested in learning where the debt level of the council sits compared with five years ago. When the report about the earthquake risk of the council buildings was published, I wondered – together with quite a lot of fellow citizens - how come these buildings survived several strong earthquakes over a number of years, presumably without any publicised damage.

Right from day one, building a hotel appeared to be the preferred option rather than to investigate and publish the costs to strengthen the listed dangerous parts of the buildings.

One cannot deny that NCC has taken more than one controversial decision, perhaps it is time for an update on the planned cost for the aquarium as well?

And amongst all of this, when will we hear what the next step for Napier's War Memorial will be? How much longer before the original name will be reinstated? According to Guy Natusch, NCC has remained remarkably silent on the design he has presented. Public consultation was promised months ago, only to be followed by a deafening silence …

A democratic country allows its inhabitants to speak out on the positive and the negative. I would like to wrap this up by pointing out that NCC has done a wonderful job of the redevelopment of the Marine Parade.

Whilst I have no doubt that the mayor and council members regard themselves as hard working in the interest of the community, I do hope they will not overlook the fact that a good outcome can only be achieved when credible communication goes both ways.

Charlotte Descamps is a former guide of the battlefields of Flanders, lecturer on the Great War and volunteer Art Deco Guide. Views expressed here are the writer's opinion and not the newspaper's. Email: editor@hbtoday.co.nz