Acting Mayor challenges regional councillor over facts on water
Acting Mayor Mike Cardiff says he is dismayed about incorrect information being publicly distributed by Kāpiti Regional Councillor Nigel Wilson about the River Recharge Scheme.
Councillor Wilson stated in a media interview yesterday that the River Recharge Scheme, designed to allow the Council to top up the Waikanae River in times of drought, isn’t ready to be used and has suggested the Council has misled the public about its true status.
Councillor Cardiff says the interview was ‘littered with factual inaccuracies’.
“As we have been working closely with the Greater Wellington Regional Council as the consenting authority on the River Recharge Scheme, it is astonishing that Councillor Wilson would be ignorant of the facts.”
Councillor Cardiff says he has spoken to Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw, who has distanced himself from Councillor Wilson’s comments.
“Councillor Wilson’s words are his own and do not represent Greater Wellington Regional Council’s views,” said Mr Laidlaw.
Councillor Cardiff says rather than not operating, the River Recharge scheme was used for the first time on Friday when readings from the Greater Wellington gauging station showed the Waikanae River level dropping to 850 litres per second.
“This meant we couldn’t continue to take water out of the river and maintain its minimum flow of 750 litres per second, as required under our consent requirements as set out by Greater Wellington.
“Greater Wellington gave written confirmation we could commence the scheme and that relevant consent conditions were completed to allow this to happen. We operated in accordance with these consents.
“The River Recharge worked as it should, ensuring river levels were maintained. The scheme will be working again this summer and is ready to operate anytime if river levels get low enough.”
Councillor Cardiff says he and Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw are in complete agreement about the objectives of the scheme and the benefits of collaboration.
“This is an example of two councils working together to implement an innovative and environmentally-responsible project as part of the solution to the district’s long standing water supply issues. Councillor Wilson’s lack of knowledge about a significant Kāpiti project in which his own council is heavily involved is breath-taking,” said councillor Cardiff.