Mayor welcomes CRAG report
Mayor Jenny Rowan has welcomed the Charging Regime Advisory Group (CRAG) report, saying the charging regime is fundamental to the debate about water meters.
“Last year Council adopted water meters in principle, but said a final decision would not be made until we had all the information in place.
“We now have that information.”
CRAG was charged with finding a tariff structure that was fair, transparent, easy to operate, and affordable, while at the same time resulted in a reduction in water use.
“They believe they have found just such a formula.”
The CRAG team had not been asked to consider the merits or otherwise of water meters. “Their sole task was to recommend a suitable charging regime.”
CRAG members had put in many long hard hours on the issue since the team was formed in June last year. “They have done an outstanding job sifting through a great deal of data and reports, and I need to emphasis that they are volunteers.”
Mayor Rowan said there had been considerable discussion in the past about a “free” allocation of water with the expectation that a variable charge would come into play above that figure.
“I see from the report that CRAG considered this scenario and then rejected it on the grounds that it would be unfair on low water users who would have to pay for water they did not use and that such a system would also be complex to administer.
“It is still early days in the debate. The CRAG report will go to Council for consideration on Thursday and then it will be open for public consultation. This consultation will run parallel to the consultation on the draft Long Term Plan.
“The draft Long Term Plan will also be considered by Council on Thursday.”