Auckland water charges could double in the next four years if Three Waters does not go ahead, a council staffer says.
RNZ understands Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown continues to support repealing the Water Services Reform programme.
But a message received by RNZ, from a council staff member, said if it was repealed without a replacement, residents could face a doubling in their water charges.
That would be the only way to maintain the council’s current debt to revenue limit, the woman said.
She suggested the council wants the next government to commit to a Crown guarantee of new water debt.
In a statement, Watercare chief executive Dave Chambers said it would spend more than $13 billion over the next 10 years on water projects, a plan which was agreed to by its board in December 2020.
That includes a 9.5 per cent increase in spending year-on-year over the next four years, from just over $1b being spent in the current financial year, to $1.38b to be spent in the 2027/2028 year.
Chambers said to fund those increases, it would need to increase the amount it borrowed.
Auckland Council on Tuesday announced a forecast rates hike of almost 13.75 per cent in the next financial year, which begins in July.
This year, the council put rates up by 7.7 per cent as part of a plan to plug its $325 million budget hole.