The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Dawn Chorus for Wednesday, January 10

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Dawn Chorus for Wednesday, January 10

Buller District Council using Three Waters funding to build 10 huts for workers at Reefton Motor Camp for new gold mine employing 140; Wellingtonians queue for water storage after wettest year ever
Worker accommodation at an Australian gold mine, typical of the huts the Buller District Council plans to model its campsite accommodation on. Photo: Getty Images

TL;DR: Funds given to councils by the Labour-led Government to encourage them to adopt Three Waters is being used for all sorts of things, including one council using it to build 10 huts at a motor camp for up to 140 workers building a new gold mine. The Press-$$$ Joanne Nash

Meanwhile, Wellington residents frustrated by decades of under-investment in the region’s water networks were forced yesterday to queue for four hours for a first batch of 70 200-litre emergency water storage tanks being sold at a discount by the Wellington City Council. The Post-$$$ Conor Knell. Up to half of the region’s water is lost because of leaks and fast population growth without infrastructure investment has led to warnings of water shortages this summer, despite 2023 being Wellington’s wettest year on record.

Three Waters was supposed to provide a long-term funding solution for future water investment and to catch up on tens of billions worth of under-investment and maintenance over the last two decades when population growth was four times faster than assumed. But those reforms are now on hold while the new Government looks at other privately-backed funding options that would not increase Government debt or council debt.

Elsewhere in the news in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy today:

  • Physiotherapists and other health workers are walking away from volunteering for NZ Rugby because of staff burnout in the health system and fears their volunteer work could result in official sanctions. NZ Herald-$$$ Neil Reid

  • 2023 was the world’s hottest year on record, with the average of 14.98 degrees being 0.17 degrees warmer than the previous hottest year of 2016, and 1.48 degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average, EU scientists reported overnight, adding that average temperatures were likely to exceed 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the years to the end of January or February 2024. Copernicus report.

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Using long-term water funds to build 10 mining huts

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