Water New Zealand says the Government must move quickly.
Chief executive Gillian Blythe says while the Government has signalled that it will restore council control for water assets, it is important that it moves quickly to reveal the details of the proposed legislation.
“We are pleased that the Government intends to introduce new legislation early next year because the current uncertainty is risking delays and jeopardising projects that are in the pipeline.
“We need to ensure that there is confidence around ongoing investment, and it is at levels that make inroads into the infrastructure deficit.”
She says already skilled workers and contractors are seeking opportunities offshore and this puts future investments and their delivery in jeopardy.
“The impact of our long term underinvestment in infrastructure is becoming increasingly evident with daily reports of leaking pipes and beaches regularly contaminated by wastewater and stormwater overflows.”
She says the sector welcomes the indication that the Government will provide some flexibility for councils while they’re finalising their long-term plans as this was causing stress for many councils.
“We look forward to seeing the details of the new approach and working with the Government to provide water sector advice.”