A key part of the plan to ensure the Waikato district continues to use water in a sustainable manner in the future is being implemented over the coming months.
Properties in Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Raglan connected to Waikato District Council’s water infrastructure will switch to the water meter charging system from 1 July 2017.
As part of an ongoing public awareness campaign for the system, trial meter readings have been sent out to owners of newly metered properties.
Meet Your Meter public information sessions will be held at the local council offices in the affected areas, as well as at community events, to ensure that people have the opportunity to talk to a council staff member about water meters.
The trial readings are aimed at supporting property owners to understand how the water meter system works. They also include handy tips on how to read water meters and conserve water.
A second trial reading will be sent out to property owners in May, which should provide a reading of three months of water consumed.
The May sample reading will be in the form of a water meter invoice will look. It will not need to be paid.
General Manager Service Delivery Tim Harty says: “Water is a precious resource and water meters encourage efficient use of that precious resource by allowing the householder much more awareness of use and conservation measures.
“It is illegal for councils to profit from providing water. Money received from water bills covers the treatment, distribution and management of water supply to ensure that when water reaches residents it is free from harmful organisms and meets water supply standards.”
Mr Harty believes the trial readings are a useful tool for the community to prepare for the new system when it goes live on 1 July and encourages property owners to go along to the information sessions.
“The trial readings help people get a gauge on how much water they use. Under the water meter system the less water you use, the less you pay,” says Mr Harty.
“So if they find their water use is high the trial readings give them time to put some of the water saving tips we provide into practice.”
Property owners in Huntly, Raglan and Ngaruawahia can expect to get their first official bill under the water meter system from September 2017.
More information can be found at www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/watermeters
MEET YOUR METER SESSIONS
The dates and venues for the Meet Your Meter public information sessions are:
Council office and library (142 Main Street) – 27 February, 9am-3pm and 4 March, 9.30am-12.30pm.
Council office (4 Jesmond Street) – 22 February, 9am-3pm and Ngaruawahia Regatta (Turangawaewae Marae) – 18 March.
Council office and library (7 Bow Street) - 20 February, 9am-3pm and Raglan Creative Market (5 Stewart Street) - 12 March.
Who’s new to water meters?
The majority of residential properties in Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Raglan are the only parts of the Waikato district that do not already use water meters system. From July 2017, households in Ngaruawahia, Huntly and Raglan will have water meters and will be charged for water accordingly.
How will water rates change for the affected communities?
Properties in Raglan, Ngaruawahia and Huntly connected to Waikato District Council water supply are currently charged a flat rate of $549.92 for the 2016/17 rating year. Under the water meter system and from the 2017/18 year, water bills will be in two parts: a proposed fixed charge of $213.83 for 2017/18 and a proposed usage charge of $1.82 per cubic metre for 2017/18. The combined total of the two components will be the water bill.
Who pays? (rental properties)
The property owner is expected to pay the targeted rate, but may pass on water use charges to the tenant (see section 39 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986). The property owner is liable for rates pursuant to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. Any arrangement regarding payment of a water consumption charge is usually included in the Tenancy Agreement between the owner and the tenant. If the tenant does not pay the water charges, this falls on the property owner.
For more information please contact:
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633