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Havelock North water inquiry getting costly

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the the Hastings District Council has almost spent $1 million of ratepayer money on legal and investigation fees in relation to the Havelock North drinking water inquiry.  

The official figures were obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. They reveal that the Hastings District Council had invoiced $739,666 in investigation costs and a further $223,745 in legal fees.

The Government today announced that the drinking water inquiry will be extended for another 9 months. 

The Council are putting ratepayers in hot water, with the $1 million spending beginning to look like the tip of the iceberg.

While it is absolutely essential for the causes of the water contamination to be identified, we are concerned that the Hastings District Council is spending so much on lawyers and communication strategies, when this should really be about science and getting to the bottom the matter.

The real winner here is the Mayor, who is standing for Parliament, and therefore benefits the most in having the Government inquiry pushed back until after the election. Unfortunately, that probably means ratepayers will be up for millions more in fees for little, or no gain.

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