Port boss to lead changes in wa­ter ser­vices

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

The Hast­ings District Coun­cil has ap­pointed Napier Port chief ex­ec­u­tive Garth Cowie to chair a change pro­gramme for its wa­ter ser­vices oper­a­tions.

The change pro­gramme was put in place fol­low­ing an in­de­pen­dent review of the coun­cil’s wa­ter oper­a­tions com­mis­sioned by chief ex­ec­u­tive Ross McLeod.

McLeod or­dered the review to ad­dress short­com­ings iden­ti­fied through the gov­ern­ment in­quiry into last year’s Have­lock North wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion cri­sis which left more than 5000 res­i­dents sick.

The change pro­gramme aims to en­sure the coun­cil has in place the ca­pa­bil­ity, ca­pac­ity, sys­tems and peo­ple to en­sure safe drink­ing wa­ter for its com­mu­nity.

McLeod said the coun­cil was pleased Cowie was will­ing and able to take on the chair’s role.

‘‘He has led Napier Port through a pe­riod of sig­nif­i­cant suc­cess and has de­vel­oped strong ca­pa­bil­ity and cul­ture through­out the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘He is also a Have­lock North res­i­dent with a strong in­ter­est in mak­ing sure the or­gan­i­sa­tional foun­da­tions are in place for safe drink­ing wa­ter,’’ he said.

McLeod said the coun­cil was com­mit­ted to changes iden­ti­fied in the review and was con­fi­dent Cowie could de­liver them.

Cowie said he wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity to be in­volved.

‘‘Safe drink­ing wa­ter is fun­da­men­tal to our com­mu­ni­ties and our health. I’m pleased to be able to help the coun­cil de­velop its wa­ter ser­vices ac­tiv­ity so it is ‘fit for pur­pose’ in the new op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment that is emerg­ing post the con­tam­i­na­tion event.’’

Cowie will lead the team devel­op­ing and over­see­ing change ini­tia­tives and make rec­om­men­da­tions to McLeod.

Garth Cowie says safe drink­ing wa­ter is fun­da­men­tal to com­mu­ni­ties.

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